|Entrepreneur Diondre Lewis aims to take on rideshare titans|
|ScoopM founder bets on driver vetting, service|
|Published Friday, January 3, 2020 11:00 am|
|PHOTO | HERBERT L. WHITE|
|Diondre Lewis, president of Charlotte-based ScoopM, is taking aim at disrupting the rideshare industry.|
Diondre Lewis’ business is disruption.
Lewis, president of Charlotte-based rideshare and logistics ScoopM, is positioning the company as an alternative to industry giants like Lyft, Uber and GrubHub. It’s not far-fetched to create space in a gig economy where competition is encouraged.
Every time a McDonald's opens up on a corner, there’s a Burger King on the other side,” Lewis said. “It’s like, this is business, this is American enterprise. You figure out a way to separate yourself.”
ScoopM focuses on consumer safety, especially for women and children who are most vulnerable to dangerous driver interaction, Lewis said. The company, Lewis claims, imposes more thorough driver screening than other rideshares in addition to applying ScoopM decals and branding on vehicles with LED lights to identify their cars as well as cameras recording inside and outside the car and a panic button if needed. It also has its own mobile app with ride information.
Lewis, a Fayetteville native, is a technology entrepreneur. He owns IBG software, which includes staffing, consulting, development and training. After noticing that participants in its training program struggled to find transportation to class, Lewis launched the rideshare and marketed it as a safer and economically alternative to the industry standard.
“This group [of students] was anywhere from 14 to maybe 18 or 19 years old,” he said, “and a lot of them relied on their parents for transportation to the training. And if there was ever any kind of glitch, or any type of issue with, with the parents’ schedules, they were not able to come to class they were not able to get that valuable training that we delivered.
“We’re a software company, so let’s build something that is more safe, let's build something that is that can win the trust of the parents [and] women that may be skeptical of using rideshare when the trust of even the elderly that don't want to mess with it at all by delivering something that is transparent, safe, and has a certain level of integrity.”
In addition to providing a safe riding experience by more intense driver vetting, ScoopM aims to pay them better.
“The awesome thing about rideshare is that it has been created by these entities,” Lewis said. “Uber and Lyft, they've also created a connected economy, gig economy where people can work when they want, people can live the lifestyle they want to live, they can supplement their own existing income. They’ve created this massive market, but they're not paying their drivers right, they're not being transparent regarding the way that they pay. And they are not background checking their drivers adequately.”
The disruption economy is based in part on changes in preferences and demographics. Younger Americans are opting out of driving and the gig economy where the part-time hustle is an acceptable alternative or supplement to the eight-hour job.
“We think that there's going to be a cascade effect across the entire gig economy,” Lewis said. “There’s a tremendous opportunity because they've created something that's not going away. People want to be moved around and not have to worry about their car, because a growing a massive, massive acceleration in the number of individuals that don't even want to have a car, they don't they just want to share someone else's they just want the service. You've got guys that are 25 years old they don't know how to drive. They’re just so used to Ubering and Lyfting all around. We see the market accelerating into almost $1 trillion a year range within the next five to six years. They need to be happy, they need to be well paid and they need to be loyal.”
Lewis has ambitious goals for ScoopM. The rideshare’s soft open launches in Charlotte in the spring and he envisions the service spreading to major markets across the U.S and Europe with 10,000 drivers.
“We believe that over the next five years, we can conservatively grab anywhere from 7% to 10% of the global rideshare market,” he said. “We are full speed with food delivery in Charlotte and Atlanta, and we are ramping up rideshare in both markets. Later towards the latter part of spring, we will be in Miami. Right now, we are doing high dollar food delivery in Charlotte, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.
“Ultimately our goal within the next year and a half, is to be across the United States and in the UK.”
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