By Lara Climaco | FilAm Star Correspondent
Mulling over how to get around Los Angeles without owning a vehicle or taking public transport, entrepreneur and technology developer Louis Oyeleye figured out a solution that would take him all the way to the Philippines to launch Driberko, a car sharing platform that promises an experience rather than just a ride.
“Driberko makes the journey more personal, more connected,” the founder and CEO of Driberko, told FilAm Star via email. “Driberko users are able to pre-book and pay [for]a vehicle, schedule the pick-up date and time as well as pick-up place. They can make a booking from anywhere in the world ahead of time—[even] book and pay for Christmas months ahead. The customer experience is beautiful. Our car owners make you feel good, like you own the car. And we reward our car owners by charging less than any other platform.”
To its customers, Driberko offers sedan, SUV and van choices at affordable rates. For 12 hours, rental for a sedan is 1,000 pesos if self-driven and 1,500 pesos plus 7 pesos per kilometer for gas if a driver is required. An additional 500 pesos is tacked on for SUV and van rentals. For a 24-hour rental, customers pay 1,000 pesos on top of the base rates.
Meanwhile, car owners have the option to join the Driberko pool on a basic or corporate partnership level. Basic membership comes with full customer support, access to mobile application and web services, renter verification and processing, 12 percent commission per transaction and the ability to list an unlimited number of vehicles and to accept unlimited rental requests. Corporate membership requires a sign-up fee for a package that includes a GPS device with data and tracking for one year, GPS installation by a certified vehicle technician, 24/7 command station vehicle tracking, immediate access to funds through a local bank, and vehicle assignment to expats, overseas Filipino workers and companies. GPS tracking and local bank access are optional at the basic membership level.
“The goal was to create a platform for both car owners and renters, [where] car owners can rent out their car and generate some income to provide to their family, cover their vehicle monthly payment,” Oyeleye said. “With a strong and fast-growing economy and having the fastest annual growth rate in the car rental industry, the Philippines became a perfect place to introduce a car sharing platform.”
Two months after its launch, Driberko grew its fleet to 1,600 cars, according to Oyeleye. The platform now has more than 2,000 cars and is fully available in Metro Manila. It attracts a range of folks, from young employees going on a road trip with friends for a week, to balikbayans coming home for two weeks and local business executives on a group outing. Trips have mostly been around Metro Manila and some nearby areas for city exploration or a weekend experience. All-in tourist packages are also available.
Oyeleye said he is exploring an opportunity for balikbayans and OFWs to join Driberko through tie-ups with local car and bank companies. Though the company is looking to expand in the Philippines and across Asia, the immediate focus is on increasing the earnings of car owners.
“The success of Driberko for our car owners became the driving force despite [the] lack of proper funding to push and expand to communities who want access to our platform,” Oyeleye said. “I believe, apart from the opportunity to the company, it is the opportunity we give to car owners—they are able to afford to take a longer vacation, provide more for their families and not having to worry of how they would feed their family. I compared the lifestyle in the United States where I was coming from, I wanted to give the same.”