A fresh new start

By Flo Devellennes, CEO and Co-founder, Poparide

If you asked me to describe Poparide’s experience over the past year in one word, it would have to be ‘resilience’. Thanks to our team and all of our members, it’s been an incredible year of recovery for our business. 

Back in March 2021, I was reflecting on how we survived one year of the pandemic as we were only beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Today I reflect back with a sense of pride and amazement on how we all pulled together to make it through these challenging times. Now that we’ve made it to April 2022, I’m feeling an incredible sense of optimism about the future of Poparide. 

After what we’ve all been through, I’d say that most of us are ready for a fresh new start. Our team has been working diligently to prepare for this moment and we’re now ready to grow our community, which is already 400,000+ members strong

Here are some of our latest developments, plus a glimpse of what’s new and what’s coming up this year.

Our community is thriving

We’re now seeing a huge resurgence in carpooling across Canada. 

In the past six months, trips have strongly recovered on our platform with growth in the number of bookings, drivers and passengers. Ontario and Quebec are showing the fastest growth with BC and Alberta not far behind.

Thanks to our members who are continuing to spread the word and share rides, more people are currently signing up to Poparide than ever before. 

In addition, university and college students have been taking advantage of our student discounts and on campus promotions which are helping to make travel more affordable, accessible and sustainable for everyone.

Our team is growing

To meet the surge in demand for carpooling, we’ve increased the size of our support team to ensure that our members continue to have a great experience on Poparide. 

We’ve promoted some of our staff to new senior roles so they can lead new recruits and strengthen our operations. We’ve recently welcomed four new support champions to the team, focusing our hiring strategy on finding individuals with high empathy to ensure a great cultural fit.

We’re now gearing up for continued growth across all departments, including support, marketing and product, with plans to add new talent to each team to support our high growth trajectory this year.

Our new look and feel

We just launched a new look and feel to improve our positioning in the market and overall member experience. 

Our goal was to create a stronger connection with our brand while maintaining the fun and sociable approach we’ve always taken to carpooling. Our logo is still the same, but we’ve made some fundamental design changes we think our members will love.

For all you design lovers out there, here are some of the highlights:

  • We’ve introduced simplified, light hearted icons and illustrations that capture the fun and excitement of participating in our community. 
  • We’ve shifted to beautiful light coloured backgrounds to make viewing easier and pleasing to the eye. 
  • Plus, we’ve introduced a friendly new font that’s way easier to read across mobile, web and print. 

If you want to learn more about how we came up with our new look and feel, you can read about it here. We’d love to know what you think!

Our new mobile app

With travel restrictions in place and limited bookings on Poparide during the pandemic, we focused our efforts on completely rebuilding our mobile app in a new language called React-Native. This new approach allows us to have one common base code for both our iOS and Android app which improves performance, accelerates building new features and provides a better user experience for our members.

In November 2021, we launched the beta version of this new app. A select group of active members were invited to test drive it and tell us what they thought. We received a lot of feedback and suggestions on how to improve. This gave us a valuable opportunity to carefully consider the member experience and incorporate as much feedback as we could into the final release. 

We’re excited to announce that our new app is now available for everyone to download on iPhone and Android

If you already have the Poparide app installed on your mobile device, make sure you update to the latest version. The design has been improved and it’s never been easier to post and book a Poparide.

Our members love Poparide

We’re continuing to receive lots of praise from our members who are writing in to share their stories and how they feel about their experience on Poparide. 

I’m proud to say that we are maintaining a rating above 4.5 on Google and the app stores. Our members have been raving about how easy our app is to use, our pricing and safety features, and most importantly our thoughtful approach to customer support.

Many members have shared how much fun they’re having and the great people they’re meeting on the road. Here are a few recent reviews on Google I want to share with you:

I’d like to thank all of our members for their incredible resilience and their ability to stay focused on the future over the past year.

We thrive on your positive energy and you inspire us to develop new creative ideas, improve our service and continually expand our community to make travel more enjoyable and accessible for everyone!

We’re very excited about the future and what it holds for our team and our community. The resilience we built over the last two years has made our business stronger, and we can’t wait to see what we can make happen with this fresh new start.

How are you feeling about the future of Poparide? Drop me a line in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.