Software platform simplifies ride-sharing

No one likes the dreaded daily commute to work, which is often costly and tedious. Thanks to the ride-sharing platform SPLT, there will be a little less dread in the morning.

The downtown Detroit-based startup is developing a software platform so companies can make it easier for their employees to ride-share. The mobile platform employs a social search feature to identify commuters -- both drivers and passengers -- going in the same direction for simple synching.

Workers save money in transportation costs, and companies do as well in having to provide less parking. SPLT has a couple of pilot projects underway and the initial results are encouraging.

"We have seen a 15 percent adoption rate for SPLT," says Anna Isachenko, operations czar at SPLT. "It's much better than the industry standard."

SPLT launched a paid pilot project with DTE Energy in November and started a second pilot project in February. It's getting ready to launch another pilot project in Ohio later this spring. That work has enabled SPLT to grow its team to seven people, along with an intern from Detroit Cristo Rey High School on the city's southwest side. SPLT is also looking at adding more interns this summer and a couple more employees.

"We might bring on more developers very soon," Isachenko says. 

SPLT has a presence in San Francisco, New York City, Austin, Atlanta, Denver and Detroit. Its headquarters is in the Techstars incubator next to Ford Field. SPLT was part of Techstars Mobility’s first class in Detroit last summer.

The incubator program showed SPLT the potential behind a major pivot. Before graduating, the startup was aiming its platform straight at consumers. Techstars Mobility helped it target large companies instead.

"It created a strong foundation for the company," Isachenko says.

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Read more articles by Jon Zemke.

Jon Zemke is a news editor with Model D and its sister publications, Metromode and Concentrate. He's also a small-scale real-estate developer and landlord in the greater downtown Detroit area.

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