The car-service market in Australia -- mostly dominated by Uber -- is about to get some stiff competition from Hop, the new kid on the block, which is promising to give customers and drivers a fair deal.
Hop's co-founders are Zeryab Cheema and Andrew Morello. Cheema has been in the taxi business since age 15, which is when he launched Taxi 24/7 an iPhone app to connect riders and drivers, currently being used in the UK by London's Cab market.
Morello was the winner of the first season of The Apprentice Australia, and also founded his own business at the age of 15. Currently Morello is Head of Business Development at Yellow Brick Road, a co-founder of online jewellery company Bellagio and Co. and a founding member of The Entourage, Australia’s largest educator and community of entrepreneurs with over 85,000 members around the world.
Morello said that Hop is not going to crush Uber per se, instead that they will make them start seriously thinking about how they run their operations in Australia.
“Uber entered the market when customer satisfaction in taxis was at an all-time low but it has now left a vacuum where drivers miss out, they make less money with too many cars on the road. Drivers are the ones who ultimately control the market and once they find something better than Uber they will switch” said Morello.
The new car-service company is hoping to be that alternative, by also eliminating the need for drivers to provide a vehicle. Instead, Hop uses car rental company, Hertz, to provide one. Then Hop receives a percentage from Hertz out of the rental fees paid by the driver.
A couple more things differentiate Hop from other car-services: 100 per cent of a customer's fare goes directly to Hop drivers, who currently receive a base payment of AUD$300 per day just for being on the road.