Bringing the sharing economy into the music festival and sporting event circuit is Vancouver-based long-distance ridesharing app Flok, a platform that espouses the values of “social, sustainable and cost-effective travel”, now available for the iOS operating system.
Flok beta launched this summer, and has already created a number of ridesharing communities centered around Canadian music festivals and sports teams, including the Rockin’ River Music Festival and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
“Our generation, millennials, have 30 percent fewer cars than the previous generation,” said Flok co-founder and COO Nadine Robinson. “The car is no longer the ‘crowned jewel’ and ownership is not a priority – instead, we want to car share, take transit, walk, or bike. But without a car, it can be incredibly expensive and inconvenient to leave the city.”
Jacob Hoggard, singer in the pop group Hedley, and Shopify co-founder and Chief Design & Culture Officer Daniel Weinand are among Flok’s key investors.
Aimed squarely at the millennial generation, who reportedly prefer sharing things instead of owning them, the app connects attendees hoping to travel to a particular event with a vacant car seat heading towards the same event.
“The driver is paired with travel companions en route to the same event. This establishes a common ground and helps break the ice faster,” said co-founder and CEO Clio de la Llave. “Most events are already social in nature, but Flok gives attendees a head start on the mingling.”
The screening process for Flok drivers consists of them signing up with their email or Facebook account, verifying their mobile phone number, supplying their full name (although only their first name and last initial are displayed), adding a profile photo and car details.
Flok differentiates itself from Uber and Lyft in the sense that “drivers do not make a profit beyond the cost of travel – passengers merely contribute to the expenses of the trip.”
Uber and Lyft drivers sipping coffee while reading that may be forgiven for spitting their beverage out at the word “profit”, given that Uber drivers generally earn less than minimum wage depending on their location (less than half the $15 minimum wage in Los Angeles, for example).
So Flok now adds to the transportation mix available for ownership-challenged millennials, who otherwise are at the mercy of bus, rail and air travel companies, or simply hitch-hiking.
Aside from the social aspect and saving money, the app also contains in-app messaging and ratings systems which are accessed through a user’s profile.
An Android version of Flok is slated for release later this year, and there’s even a Web version of Flok coming soon “if you’re REALLY stuck in 1999 and don’t have a iPhone or Android”, says the website.