2 years ago
EASY RIDE WITH TOOTLE
KATHMANDU, Nov 6: Carpooling and scooterpooling are not new concepts for humans. We have heard and been a part of the ‘pooling system’ with our friends, family or in many cases our co-workers. However, to adapt the practice in our everyday lives and share a ride with a complete stranger, we need a bit more of practice and a lot of leniency in our mindsets.
Tootle, a ride sharing mobile application, was developed based on the concept of carpooling. It was launched on January 2017, but friends, family and near ones of the Tootle team had been testing the app on the backend for about a year before the actual launch.
According to Tootle Co-founder and CEO Sixit Bhatta, the app is their attempt to ease the traffic and make travelling for an individual from point A to point B easier. This has not only created a business for them but also allowed the younger, dynamic riding population of Kathmandu to work and create employment for themselves.
Tootle has two applications, one for the rider and one for the Tootle partner. One who wants to use Tootle would have to download the first app and register while the ones who want to connect with Tootle as a partner need to download the latter and register themselves. You can pick your point A to B, pick-up time and even gender preference. Depending on the kilometers, the rider pays some amount of money to the partner via Tootle balance using a code.
It’s also hard to tell who is tootling as there are no stickers/signs on the vehicles that indicate they are with Tootle and everyone looks like they are on their own journey. So, Tootle app allows both the riders and the partners to call and chat with the other through Tootle. It also has a tracking feature from which the users can track where their ride/rider is and how long it will take them to reach the location. And when the ride/rider is near, an in-built voice activation system notifies one of the other’s presence.
There have been a few instances where the ride didn’t arrive on time. But the Tootle team is on a constant lookout on the backend, and is always tracking the rides as well as pickups. The team also helps both the parties connect with each other when required.
The number of Tootle users are on the rise and the app seems more popular among the female population as well as the visually-impaired or those with disabilities, according to Sixit. Tootle owns none of the two-wheelers, all the partners are voluntary and work with Tootle as a platform to share the ride. “Tootle or any other applications for that matter only does 10 percent of the work. It’s the people working on the backend to make it feasible and the people ready to adapt that system into their everyday system that makes the app work,” Sixit added.
But even in this age of marketing, Tootle has kept it low and has not made much noise. “Much of our effort is being invested on how to scale the app up and make it more feasible. We have our own data analytics system so we are hitting only the niche population. Also for the app, our teams have been doing regular need-basis updates while we are constantly working on bigger reforms for the app,” said Sixit.
“So the one thing we are working on, other than making sure that the app runs smoothly with higher number of users, is to keep the number or personal details of the riders and partners confidential. They would still be able to contact them but the details won’t flash like now,” Sixit added.
For what Tootle is trying to instill among the people of Kathmandu, they have received recognition from various platforms. The recent one was the Seedstars Kathmandu 2017 where they won the award here and are all set to go take part in Seedstars Regional Summit in Thailand and Global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland. The team is also preparing to take part in a international boot camp at Slush Global Impact Accelerator in Helsinki, Finland after they won the Slush GIA 2017.