What happens when you really want to go to an event in a different city, but you don’t have a car, and the cost of renting is just not feasible? Think of all the things you have missed out on in the past because of this.
In flies Flok, the new ridesharing app that will make sure you no longer miss those awesome events that you have FOMO over. Co-founders, Nadine and Clio, created Flok to help connect event attendees to allow them to easily organize rides to and from events. Although the app is still in its early stages, I can already tell it’s going to be the next big thing, especially among people like me who don’t have a car!
I chatted with the ladies behind Flok to learn more about them, their app, Flok, and why we should be embracing ridesharing.
Tell me a bit about both of you.
Clio: Nadine and I were friends first, colleagues second, and now finally business partners on Flok. We’re both die-hard fans of marketing, design, start-ups, sustainability, travel, the outdoors, and – of course – technology! Straight out of college, I launched and ran a digital marketing agency (Booje Media), where I hired Nadine as one of my first employees. Little did we know that Flok would be born only a few years down the road. On a more personal level, I’m mildly obsessed with wine, chocolate, my sisters, and enjoying our beautiful city (Vancouver) and country. Oh, and I’m probably the textbook definition of a social butterfly – I love connecting with people, whether that be new or old friendships.
Nadine: In addition to working with Clio at Booje, I’ve also maintained marketing positions with various companies. Additionally, I’ve recently completed my masters in Communications – so I think we’ve got the marketing area covered! I live in Vancouver with my partner, Todd, and also love wine, our city, and Clio’s sisters – but I’ll skip the chocolate part. 🙂
Tell me about Flok.
Clio: Flok is the long-distance ridesharing app for events, catering mostly to music festivals and sports games. So essentially, we are the 21st century solution to hitchhiking to Woodstock. Our platform connects people attending the event who have extra seats in their car with passengers who need a lift. Everyone shares the cost of travel, cars are taken off the road, and parking, CO2 emissions, and traffic congestion are reduced. And – my favourite part – you get to meet people along the way!
Why did you see a demand to build an app like Flok?
Nadine: We first came up with the idea out of our own selfish need – neither of us owned a car and we ended up on a weekend getaway to my hometown Revelstoke – it cost us an arm and a leg due to airfare, car rentals, etc. The more we talked and thought about it, the more we realized that living carless is a growing trend, especially in urban centres where there are so many intracity transportation options. However, as soon as you want to leave the city, it becomes problematic and expensive. This is highlighted when travelling for a concert, festival, or game – which seems so crazy because everyone is going to the same spot already. You’d think carpooling, or ridesharing, would be better organized by now. So, that’s why we built Flok – to help the carless traveller, and the car owner, cover their costs. Plus, a road trip is the perfect opportunity to get out from behind your phone and actually chat with someone new!
What types of events will be available on Flok and in which countries?
Nadine: Right now, our app is available throughout the US and Canada, so we’ll be gradually adding events from all the states and provinces. For now, our beta launch includes festivals and professional sports teams (MLS, CFL, MLB) in both BC and Ontario, and we’re expanding to California this fall.
Where do you hope to expand Flok’s availability too?
Clio: We’re really focused on building Flok as the best platform for the North American market. But, of course, we see a need and immense potential elsewhere in the world. For now, however, US and Canada are our sole focus.
Why can ridesharing be a great alternative for travelers looking to head to an event?
Clio: Events are already such social places – you never go to just hang out by yourself on the sidelines. You go to mingle. Watching The Stones or Sid the Kid alone would just not be the same if you were the only one in the stadium. By ridesharing to the event, you get the chance to meet people with common interests – they’re fans of the same band or love the same team as you – so you can get excited together along the way. By the time you arrive, you’re all warmed up and ready to go! Plus, of course, you all cut down on your travel costs and environmental impact – not bad fringe benefits.
How can those that use Flok trust the person they are ridesharing with, especially for us female travelers?
Nadine: Being females ourselves, safety and security for our users is the highest matter on our priority list. We’re currently doing a number of things to ensure the users have as much control as possible over their own well-being. First of all, everyone – drivers and passengers – must verify their mobile number and add a profile photo so everyone knows who they’re meeting and travelling with. We also have Facebook verification and an in-app chat system so you can get a feel for the person before you ever meet. We’re also building our payment system (should be ready next month), which will mean that everyone must connect either their bank account (Drivers) or credit card (Passengers). And, last but definitely not least, our rating system allows both passengers and drivers to rate each other at the end of the trip, building even more security over time.
How does payment work?
Nadine: The driver sets the price of the trip when they post the ride listing – our system generates a suggested price per seat, but they have the ability to increase or decrease it if they wish. We built our system with a variable pricing model – which simply means that the more people that join a trip, the cheaper it will be. So, if you’re the only passenger, you’ll contribute a bit more to the costs than if you are, say, one of three passengers. Overall, Flok’s model is all about cost-sharing: the driver is simply covering his/her costs, not making a profit beyond the cost of travel.
At the moment, payments happen in person (aka cash) but our in-app payment system will launch next month, so everything will be charged and deposited automatically.
Do you think ridesharing is the new way of travel? If so, why?
Clio: Definitely! It no longer makes any sense for everyone to own their own vehicle. It’s not environmentally or economically responsible. The era of car-sharing and ridesharing is definitely upon us. And when the autonomous cars are the norm, this will be even more the case than ever before.
Download Flok in the Apple Store here, and stay tuned for exciting updates and expansions of this game-changing app!