Liftshare aims to be the 'Airbnb of car-sharing'

by: Lucinda Southern on 09 February 2015

Launched in 1998, all the elements have aligned for Liftshare to launch its app

In a strategic partnership with DigitasLBi, Liftshare has launched its mobile app into the marketplace as one of the UK’s first ‘sharing economy’ brands.

Airbnb, likely the most well-known and cited successful company to emerge to service the sharing economy, has been a disruptive force, so it’s not unusual for new start-ups to be heralded the ‘new Airbnb for something’, and Liftshare is running with this comparison too.

CEO Ali Clabburn set up the company in 1998 after using a car-sharing service in Germany, and has since built the brand to become a 400,000-strong community.  

Now the increase in smartphone penetration, reliable 4G and changing mobile behaviours means the time is right for Liftshare’s app launch.

Drivers and passengers share lifts for UK destinations, the app enables visibility to see who is around, offers secure payment functionality, peer-to-peer messaging and rating and review systems. The system benefits people by helping them to save money and look after the environment.

Speaking about the announcement, which will see DigitasLBi receive a portion of any revenues generated through consumer bookings, Anil Pillai, UK CEO at DigitasLBi said “we believe Liftshare has real potential to become a household name. We’re confident that the launch of their new digital presence and our continued optimisation of the service using real-time data will help them to transform the way people travel.”

This example is part of the wider trend we're seeing on 12ahead, that of context marketing, where smartphones are the primary enabler for many services. Also, a greater concern for wider societal issues, in this case helping the environment by reducing traffic and needless lifts, which we're terming civil brands, companies seeing to do this will resonate more with consumers.