San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) April 13, 2015
Wingz, an airport ridesharing startup that leverages innovative technology and predictive algorithms to simplify and enhance the passenger booking and riding experience, has secured a $2 million investment led by Florence Venture Partners, Binux Capital, Blue Angel Ventures, and angel investor Larry Marcus (a founding investor in Pandora).
The Wingz mobile app enables passengers to advance book and schedule private, fixed-price, and door-to-door airport rides. At the heart of Wingz’ “scheduled ride system” is an innovative technology platform that links to the entire airline flight schedule grid. Wingz’ set of predictive algorithms are able to suggest a pickup time to customers based on flight departures, and also match riders’ loads (passengers + bags) with drivers who have the right sized car. While this efficiency drives down costs for riders, it also generates more income for drivers than any other rideshare – an average of $40 per hour.
“While travelers put tremendous time and energy into booking flights, hotels and restaurants in advance of business and personal trips, scheduling airport rides remains a last-minute, high-stress afterthought,” said Geoff Mathieux, CEO, Wingz. “By integrating airport rides with the customer’s broader travel plans, we are uniquely positioned to deliver passenger peace of mind through a superior, easy user experience that eliminates the unpleasant surprises, costs and hassles associated with on-demand transportation, taxis, and airport shuttles, while providing an affordable alternative to limousines and town cars.”
More than 10,000 customers use the Wingz app to book airport transportation, and Wingz service is currently available at 15 airports across five markets, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix. The funding will be utilized to extend its U.S. footprint to approximately 40 airports by the end of 2015, as well as to continue to invest in its technology platform and enhance the customer experience. Key Wingz differentiators include:
➢ App adapts to user travel preferences – Wingz’ technology platform revolves around rider flight information. The app automatically suggests a pickup time based on flight details, and then factors in the traveler’s preferences and scheduling patterns to adjust future bookings.
➢ Eliminates unpredictable costs – For the business and leisure traveler, the benefits of advance booking flights, hotels and restaurants are undone by the unpredictable costs of taxis and on-demand ridesharing services where the passenger ultimately often doesn’t know what the final charge will be. Wingz’ pricing model is simple and fully transparent so users know exactly how much they will pay and who the driver will be.
➢ Improved, customized traveler experience – During the booking process, travelers define the number of passengers and luggage items to transport and can choose from between three car categories, with their matching prices. If a passenger has a preferred driver, they can use that driver for future bookings. Finally, Wingz drivers can easily track the passenger’s flight status in real time and adjust pickup schedules accordingly.
➢ APIs integrate with other travel booking services - Wingz has released a private API for developers that makes it easy for providers throughout the travel industry ecosystem (hotels, restaurants, airlines, travel search engines) to offer Wingz rides from directly within their booking process.
Jack Russo, managing partner, Florence Venture Partners, adds, “Building a simple, efficient mobile app that replaces inherent cost and reliability uncertainties with taxis, airport shuttles, on-demand services and more expensive alternatives addresses a very real market pain point, and for that reason Wingz is poised to upend the airport transportation model.”
In addition to lead investors Binux Capital, Blue Angel Ventures and Florence Venture Partners, participation in the $2 million funding round included Ocotea Holdings, Big Bloom Investments, Olive Tree, and angel investors.
Founded in 2011, Wingz enables travelers to schedule private, fixed-price, and door-to-door airport rides. Rides are provided by Wingz’ local drivers using their own cars. As local residents, these drivers have a vast knowledge of their cities and provide travelers with a real local and social experience. All drivers are handpicked and trained, with their background and DMV records checked. In addition, Wingz inspects all vehicles and provides drivers with a $1M per incident liability insurance policy. To book your next airport ride, visit https://wingz.me/.