Date
27 May 2017
Starting out as a car-sharing platform, By The Way plans to evolve into a social commerce platform over time. Photo: By The Way
Starting out as a car-sharing platform, By The Way plans to evolve into a social commerce platform over time. Photo: By The Way

A somewhat different car-sharing app

One day, Lui Zhong-yi, who lives in Tai Po, had to rush to the airport but couldn’t find any public transportation near his place.

In the end, he managed to hitch a ride to the nearest stop for the airport bus.

After this experience, he decided to build a neighborhood car-sharing app that can not only fulfill commuting needs but also foster relationships among people.

This is how By The Way was born.

At the moment, By The Way operates through a Facebook account, but the stand-alone app will be ready by July, Lui told StartupBeat.

Motorists giving a free lift through the community car-sharing platform won’t get any financial rewards, but chances are that they may make friends — and even find a romantic partner.

By The Way covers almost all of Hong Kong.

It can also accommodate people seeking to share a taxi.

But Lui wants the car-sharing platform to be a lot more.

One possibility is to invite sponsors to offer a regular complimentary shuttle service in return for advertising opportunities.

Lui is also thinking of a group purchasing service.

By The Way could collect orders from numerous buyers, and suppliers could offer a discount in return for savings from selling in bulk and not having to deliver to customers one by one.

“I believe social commerce is the next big trend, and it may offer more potential than pure car sharing,” Lui said.

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FL

EJ Insight writer

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