December 2, 2014
This morning Loup announced that they have raised $1.5 million led by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams’ Obvious Ventures. Along with the funding announcement comes the official launch of the Loup platform, where the private car experience meets public transportation.
According to the team, one of the biggest challenges faced by San Francisco residents and commuters these days is finding reliable ways to get around without spending more than they can afford. Despite the recent innovations in the transportation market, the Loup team feels there’s still room for improvement in the space.
Loup is a mobile application based in San Francisco and founded in April, 2014 to provide people with an affordable, convenient, and comfortable local transportation option. To that end they’ve created a new option that combines the public service model of having predictable routes with what makes the private car service great: high-quality vehicles.
“Our technology allows us to create a transportation system that can serve the ever-changing transportation needs of major cities,” says the Loup team.
In a 2014 survey of MUNI, conducted by the San Francisco Metro Transit Authority, only 32 percent of people said they were satisfied with the services while only 25 percent said it was clean. Additionally, only 25 percent found it reliable and less than 50 percent felt safe while riding.
However, as the Loup team has realized, even with high levels of dissatisfaction people keep using public transportation. That’s because they don’t have the luxury of having a company shuttle or the means to pay for a private car service.
“This is why we seek to redefine local transportation by providing a pragmatic option that combines the public transit model of having a defined route with the quality of experience you would expect from a private car service,” says the team.
Loup leverages data to create optimized routes, or loups, that are intended to transport people between neighborhoods. This allows for an agile transportation system that can serve the ever-changing needs of residents in urban cities with the added bonus of affordability.
“Transportation is the engine of our economy. It is how goods are delivered; it is how we get to work, school, social events, and how we get back home to our loved ones,” says the Loup team. “People’s lives can be greatly affected by the quality of their transportation experience: this is the ethos that drives the Loup team.”
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