If you live in a city, chances are you have Uber. It’s become a near-essential of modern urban living: personalized transportation, no cash or credit card needed. Just confirm your address on your phone, enter in your destination and watch as a vehicle heads your way. Uber has grown significantly since starting in 2009. Not only do they have business accounts solutions on top of every day consumer accounts, but they have expanded with UberRush which provides on-demand delivery for businesses and their recently launched UberEats program which rivals companies like GrubHub.
For a company that operates in nearly 60 countries in 300 cities and is worth an estimated $62 Billion, you can see how they would have a solution for everything.
Or do they?
That’s where Teleport comes in. Launched in November 2015, Teleport is an app that has worked to improve the system by allowing you to send an Uber to anyone within a 100 mile radius of you. You send them a link, they pin point their location and a nearby Uber will come and bring them to the destination you have selected. CEO & Co-Founder, Bob Wu told me that the inspiration for its creation came from a simple question: Do social networks actually bring people together?
“We can communicate through social media but we truly connect the most with another person when we share the same physical space,” Wu said. A sentiment that anyone who has had any kind of long distance friendship or relationship can attest to. “We thought about how we could actually bring people together and this is what made the most sense.”
The current functionality of Uber is geared towards you needing a ride somewhere. Getting someone else a ride is a bit more challenging if the person isn’t with you – especially if you’re anything like me and not as tech savvy as you wish you were. Teleport removes some of those challenges by making it as easy as sending a Facebook message or text to whoever you wish. You select the destination and the message assures your friend that they get to enjoy a ride on you. Oh, and the best part is they don’t even have to have an Uber account.
When I first learned about this app, I was immediately intrigued and even a little excited. The idea is as great as it is potentially expansive – you can invite your grandma over for Sunday dinner or offer to “pick up your date” without needing their address and basically extend the friendly and considerate behavior of picking someone up, without actually having to do it.
The consumer to consumer opportunity is great, but even more exciting is the Teleport Dashboard, their platform for businesses, which had its soft launch last week. “I have a friend in New York who is an event planner. She has used the app by sending it to a few friends or individuals she may want to attend her events – the experience starts before they even get there, ” Wu explained. “When someone doesn’t have to actually worry about getting to their destination, it removes any hesitation they might have about not going at all. This is something we think will be very useful for businesses, especially places like bars, who want to encourage people to come in. Usually, the cost of the Uber will pay for itself by getting people in the door.” They also see opportunity in the medical field, particularly for hospitals. “This could eliminate cancellations and better manage the flow of patients because they can guarantee that people will actually be coming and they can monitor when they should arrive.”
As a business solution, it works. As a friend solution, it works. The possibilities are endless and while science has not yet given us the ability to instantly teleport through space and time, Teleport App makes it really easy to tap a button and have someone appear in front of you relatively quickly. And I would say that is pretty awesome.