Last week LA Mag covered the apps that are changing LA’s car-driving culture, amongst them our client Flywheel. In a city synonymous for fast cars and slow-moving motorways, these app-based auto services are rapidly growing in popularity. This is partly due to a general shift in driving habits, with recent stats proving people are driving fewer hours per week, and upgrading their cars less frequently. Lyft, the ‘on-demand ridesharing service’ is just one company taking advantage of this change in behaviour. Lyft’s co-founder John Zimmer states, “I feel like we’re competing more with the concept of people owning cars than we are with existing cab companies. By providing our service, we’re allowing people more opportunities to not have cars. ” Despite bad press and increased regulations for their controversial ‘freelance citizen cabby’ approach to taxi service, Lyft and their competitors continue to grow.
For those people less comfortable with riding in a friendly stranger’s car, Flywheel is the technologically smart take on traditional cabs. And like Lyft, Flywheel’s success stems from delivering the experience their customers want. Flywheel came to us as Cabulous – a business with a brilliant idea and an eager market – but one that had failed to find funding in its first round. Since rebranding, they have lined up $22.8 million in backing, and launched into SF, LA and Seattle. As the LA Mag article states, “the modern business transaction is automatic and cold, but that matters little when your destination is a warm bed.” This harsh but true assertion echoes the strategy we defined for Flywheel. The focus is on streamlining the experience of getting a taxi, providing a shortcut for urbanites to get to where they need to be as efficiently as possible. Flywheel understand that for their users, it really is about the destination, not the journey.