Sometimes the initial spark on igniting an idea for a certain startup doesn’t always have an uplifting beginning.
When Nadzri Sazali heard the unfortunate news of his grandmother’s passing, he was faced with the predicament of rushing back to Johor from Kuala Lumpur to make it in time for her funeral. As he had no car of his own and the bus journey would take too long, he resorted to looking for a car to rent.
After contacting a few car rental operators, he was dismayed to find that no one could accommodate his last-minute booking and that there weren’t many cars available. It was only an hour later when he finally managed to get a car after being referred to by a fellow student to his network.
Unfortunately by then, it was too late and he ended up not making it for the funeral.
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What he had found particularly distressing was having to call multiple agencies and people. So, to help others who might be in the same situation, he decided to create a community that would simplify the process of renting cars.
Taking Advantage Of Idle Cars
When they first launched the idea, Nadzri and his co-founders named their startup Unimuf. However, they recently decided to change and rebranded to Moovby. Unimuf made it sound as it they were only dealing with university students.
“The name Moovby is actually a combination of the word ‘Move’ and ‘Nearby’ which we felt fit with the theme of our startup more. We want the entire concept of our startup to revolve around users being able to fully utilise their car instead of leaving it idle and having to pay for it being parked as well,” said Nadzri to Vulcan Post.
Due to the amalgamation of the names, the startup is pronounced Move-bye.
Moovby is designed as a platform that allows car owners to rent out their idle cars on an hourly basis. The general idea is for users to be able to rent out their car while they’re out busy doing other duties such as working in the office. The car will be rented out throughout a set time and returned to the user after.
The team currently consists of 3 co-founders with another programmer that joins them on a project-basis. Besides Nadzri as the CEO, his other partners include Nik Muhammad Amin as the CTO of Moovby and Syahmi Ismail as the CPO (product).
How It Works
Moovby has launched their beta platform where you can go on and register yourself a profile. Once you’ve done so, you’re now able to make the option of adding the vehicle of your choice to be rented out.
The details you’d need to fill in to add your vehicle is quite comprehensive and thorough. Some of the requirements Moovby has set includes uploading clear images of your car from different angles, an image of your roadtax and your insurance cover note. After you’ve filled in those details, Moovby will then review them before accepting it as part of their list of cars available to be rented out.
Besides your car details, another requirement before you can properly activate your account is filling in your bank details which will be used for the transactions, images of your IC or passport and also your active driving license.
I appreciate the detailed procedure a user has to go through before they’re able to register on Moovby because it provides a measure of security—though the caveat is that I still feel paranoid about allowing strangers to use my vehicle. At least if anything does happen, I would be able to have the particulars of the person renting out my car on hand.
Now on the other side of the coin, if you’re interested to rent a vehicle, you can fill out the details according to your own preferences. From the brand to even the colour of the car, there are many options to chose from. However, you should keep in mind that the selection of cars is limited to the size of the community engaging with Moovby.
As of now, their plan is to mainly focus their efforts on university and campus areas. Their pool of users will consist of students who are more prone to rent cars more than the average working adult.
“We plan to focus on these areas first because they are more tech-savvy and adoptive towards such technology. Plus, the fact that students always face the problem of parking spaces in their campus and the added fact that students can’t afford to buy a car makes us believe we can match these people and solve both problems,” said Nadzri.
One of the main concerns I had upon learning more about this startup was the worry any car owner would have. How safe is it exactly to loan out my car to people I don’t know? How would the insurance work if a stranger handling my car damages it in any way or is harmed in an unforeseen accident?
Nadzri said, “As for the insurance part, we are in the midst of discussion with Tune Protect to provide a pay-per-use insurance, which will cover your car during the rental period. But revenue must first be generated in order for us to properly estimate the cost of the insurance,” said Nadzri.
In terms of external charges such as toll and petrol, like other car rental services, this is the responsibility of the user renting it. For example, if they rent the car and it has a half tank of petrol, they will have to return it with the same amount, as per the terms and conditions on the website. The owners are advised to check and ensure that they don’t leave SmartTags etc. in the cars before handing them over to renters.
These are among the reasons Moovby targeted colleges and universities, in hopes of lowering the risk of theft and making things easier for them to trace should anything bad happen during the rental period.
Another Car Rental Service?
Nadzri believes that Moovby as a car rental service is a little different from the rest due to their sharing economy model.
“It is easier for users to use our service in terms of access. You might find yourself renting a car from someone as close as your next door neighbour. Who knows if he may be struggling to pay for his car’s monthly loan, so you might be helping him out by using his car for a few bucks in return,” said Nadzri, stressing on the community aspect of their startup.
In terms of how much can be generated, based on their price point of RM6/hour if a user is driving a Perodua Viva, the user can earn enough to even cover the monthly loan payment of the car by renting it out for a minimum of 70 hours.
“Our mission is to help lift the burden of paying for a car by connecting them to someone who only needs to use it occasionally. In the future, we hope to see everyone having access to ‘prepaid cars’, where your car is almost everywhere and will only need to be paid when you use it,” said Nadzri.
The platform just launched yesterday which can be accessed through their official website.
“We have only been in development since around the end of August, and now our website has been launched in its beta phase. We hope to receive good response in order to further build up our business and improve more,” said Nadzri.
Feature Image Credit: Compiled from Moovby and Malay Mail