Group Ride Share Startup Fetii Beats Odds of Winning Mentorship and Funding from Major Accelerator

Starting group carpooling fetii was chosen to enter an exclusive club. The two-year-old Austin, Texas-based company said on Wednesday it had been accepted into the business accelerator Y Combinator summer “batch”. Acceptance brings $500,000 in cash and an intensive three-month mentorship program. Fetii co-founder and CEO Matthew Iommi described as “almost like a three-month boot camp.”

Iommi explains that Y Combinator (YC) only chooses 1.5% of the approximately 10,000 companies that apply to be included in one of its two annual batches. He is grateful to Fetii for overcoming these obstacles as the young company seeks to expand its service area and profits.

“It’s a real game-changer to be advertised as a YC company. It gives you a lot of legitimacy,” Iommi said in an interview. “Having that on your company CV is a huge thing that we will not only help attract talent because many people want to work for a YC company, but will also help us get more funding and grow faster because we can leverage YC resources, YC’s network of portfolio companies. YC that they own and transport YC businesses around the world.”

Since 2005, Y Combinator has invested in more than 3,000 companies with a combined value of more than $400 billion, according to its website. Among these companies, the most important are Airbnb, DoorDash

Coinbase and Dropbox.

Founded in August 2020, Fetii is a ride-sharing service that only serves groups using 15-seater vans. However, Fetii does not own any vehicles. Rather, it is a technology platform. According to Iommi, 80% of its vehicle supply comes from Fetii passenger service providers, or Amazon-inspired PSPs.

delivery service provider system. PSPs are separate entities that own a fleet of vans and service Fetii customers.

The remaining 20% ​​belong to rental agencies with which Fetii has partnered. If a self-employed driver wishes to drive for Fetii, they may have access to a van rental agency paying monthly rental insurance.

In both cases, Fetii takes a percentage of the revenue.

Drivers manage their end including navigation to and from destinations through the Fetii Driver app while passengers arrange and pay for the ride through the Fetii Ride app. Passengers scan a QR code with their smartphone when boarding to access a UPC check-in where they can select how they wish to split the fare among other passengers on the journey.

Y Combinator partner Brad Flora said Fetii’s unique business and operating models make inviting the company into its fold basically a no-brainer, telling, “Fetii uses technology to eliminate friction to booking trips for a group of people. The app lets groups get from point A to point B together and handles the tricky job of paying for the ride. Funding this talented team of long-time friends already seeing early traction was an easy decision.

After the three-month mentorship program, companies then participate in a demo day where they articulate their missions and business ideas in hopes of finding additional investors, Iommi explained.

New funds would certainly give Fetii fuel for its planned expansion plans. Now operating in Austin, College Station and Lubbock, Texas, Iommi says the goal is to expand into new markets. Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Texas are under consideration with Y Combinator’s home base in San Francisco.

Iommi says he also intends to hire about 20 additional employees over the next few months, mostly in sales, engineering and marketing. He will not publicly reveal the company’s current workforce “for competitive reasons”.

What he is happy to share is Fetii’s growth trajectory, noting that to date the company’s vans have made 49,300 trips, carrying 467,100 passengers, traveling a total of 188,200 miles. Using passenger and trip data from Fetii, Iommi estimates that using its 15-passenger vans effectively took 100,000 vehicles off the road, the approximate number of smaller vehicles it would have taken to haul the same number of people.

Indeed, reducing traffic congestion and emissions by transporting people in groups rather than individually is a key part of Fetii’s mission.

“We have a great platform, a great business model, a great network of vehicles to really ensure that when people come back to work, we can really do our best to decongest these cities and prevent this great societal plague that is happening. in these big urban cities where congestion has reached huge levels, emissions are increasing,” Iommi said. “We are removing unnecessary vehicles from the road.”

Y Combinator’s summer batch program begins in June, but Iommi looks forward to a much longer-term relationship with the accelerator as his ambitions for Fetii grow, saying, “once you become part of the family YC, you are part of it.”

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