Another finalist in the BlackBerry JamHack competition was Hive. Hive is basically a corporate ridesharing application, enabling businesses to save money on taxi costs. Employees set up social network-style profiles and start booking rides through the app. Hive then determines if other employees have already booked travel along the same route, and if so, schedules multiple pick-ups and drop-offs along the way. To ease any trepidation about riding with strangers, users have full profiles which describe their positions, displays reviews from previous ride partners, and even showcases badges earned through travel achievements.
As for their revenue model, Hive figures out just how much money it saves companies by carpooling, and charges them 5% of that amount. Businesses could also opt in to a subscription which would provides detailed metrics and activate a handful of other features. Not only would Hive save companies money, reduce car emissions, and introduce workers to other employees they might not otherwise meet, it would also cut down on expense paperwork for everybody involved.
Though the devs are focused on Australia for the time being and think they could make a healthy living addressing Sydney and Melbourne alone due to their extremely expensive local travel costs, it's easy to imagine Hive spreading to other regions or even the consumer market. On the other hand, established services like Uber are facing regulatory hurdles which may also stunt expansion for Hive beyond enterprise.
I was really impressed by Hive's concept, and the app itself is extremely well polished. Business travellers, how much time do you spend in cabs? Do you think your company could save money with a system like this? Any Australians (or investors) can find more information about Hive over here.