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Meet HERide: A Black Women-Led Company Revolutionizing The Male Dominated Rideshare Industry

by Hunter Gilmore

Within the ride sharing industry, one company stands out for its commitment to safety, equity, and inclusivity above industry giants Lyft and Uber. Meet HERide, the leading female-friendly ride sharing option in Georgia, making waves with its innovative approach to creating a safer and more inclusive ride sharing experience.

At the core of HERide’s mission is the empowerment of both drivers and riders. Unlike traditional ride sharing platforms, HERide prioritizes female drivers and riders, providing a unique and safer experience for all passengers.

“What inspired me to create HERide was the repeated interactions I would have with women when I drove for Uber and Lyft. I moved to Atlanta in 2017 and started driving Uber and Lyft at night,” Founder and Chief Technical Officer Jillian Anderson said. “A lot of them were telling me that they were canceling rides until they got a woman or canceling rides until they recognized a woman’s name. So when I realized that this was just a problem that the other two companies didn’t plan on fixing, that’s when I decided to take matters into my own hands.”

DeVynne Starks, Chief Marketing Officer of HERide, says, “Equity is truly a strong pillar of the organization.” HERide recognizes the importance of diversity and representation within the ridesharing industry and seeks to amplify underrepresented voices.

HERide’s commitment to gender diversity extends beyond its driver and rider demographics. With initiatives like providing drivers with a higher share of all fares — an impressive 80%, surpassing industry standards — HERide not only empowers drivers financially but also recognizes their invaluable contributions to the platform’s success. “We truly look to be equitable across the board,” said Starks.

Furthermore, HERide’s recent approval to operate at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport marks a significant milestone for the company and the ridesharing industry as a whole. As only the third rideshare platform outside of industry giants Uber and Lyft to receive approval, HERide’s achievement underscores its growing influence and impact in the competitive market.

“We have a chance of actually capturing at least 30% of the ride share market in Atlanta. 2.5 million rideshare requests came out of the Atlanta airport in 2022,” Anderson said. “And only two companies were fulfilling those requirements. With us being in the forefront, we will have the opportunity to possibly capture about 30 percent of that market, which is about $100 million in revenue.”

What makes this accomplishment even more remarkable is that HERide is the first female-friendly rideshare company ever to operate at the busiest airport in the world, setting a precedent for prioritizing safety and inclusivity.

“Although we serve everyone, we do have a particular focus on women and the LGBTQ+ community because we truly are looking for their voices to be heard. We are truly an opportunity to magnify those voices. And we’ve been able to do so successfully thus far,” Starks said. “In terms of how we impact the landscape, regardless of if we’re in Atlanta or if we choose to go to Miami or Dallas next year, what we’re looking to do is make sure that we continue to carry that through and through.”

Moreover, despite facing significant challenges, HERide has continued to prevail. Anderson recalls the hurdles they faced, including navigating funding as a Black woman-led startup and securing insurance. However, through perseverance and strategic approaches, HERide has made significant strides.

Looking ahead in 2024, HERide has ambitious plans for expansion and community partnerships. Anderson shares her vision of generating revenue for the business, partnering with nonprofit organizations, and expanding beyond the state of Georgia. With goals to recruit 1,000 drivers and establish partnerships with nonprofit organizations and school systems, HERide is poised to continue making a meaningful impact on the ridesharing industry and the communities it serves.

“The visibility is going to be groundbreaking, it is going to be life changing for everyone. We’re going to be an example for other people and other transportation company owners that have been trying to break into this venture space,” Anderson said.

As HERide continues its journey, it invites supporters and investors to join in its mission. Currently fundraising for its pre-seed round, HERide aims to raise $150,000. This will propel them to their seed round where they aim to raise $1.5 million. This revenue will allow the company to further grow and expand its reach beyond Georgia.

This revolutionary ride sharing company will continue to pave the way for greater opportunities and representation, inviting passengers and investors alike to join in its mission of equity and inclusion.

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©2019 Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine

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