MySam is the first French community assistant dedicated to VTC drivers. By allowing them to vote on fares, reducing the percentage of commission extractions and enable them to build a real customer portfolio, MySam stands out from its fellows by placing the driver at the forefront of its strategy.
We met Pierre Rosi in 2015, a serial entrepreneur (5 companies created and resold). He wanted to go for the race for Uberization. To fully understand the ecosystem, he himself started as a VTC driver to identify unmet needs. This approach seduced us. As the saying goes “no matter the project, only the team counts”, we believed that this gentleman could create something and that we had to help him achieve it.
This was quite simple : recreating Uber without its drawbacks. It was a big deal and it was worth our attention due to its ambitious aspect. So we started working very quickly.
Having formed the Design Team (A Scrum Master, A UX Designer, An Artistic Director and a Graphic Designer), we ordered a big number of Uber drivers. By controlling several trips, our objective was not to satisfy the primary need to travel but rather to live them from a critical angle. Indeed, we sensed that Pierre Rosi had done a good job with the drivers. Nevertheless, a marketplace survives only when supply meets demand. So, it was necessary to work on supply (VTC drivers) and demand (customers).
This study raised many issues such as some drivers inadequate quality, some drivers’ irresponsible behaviours (bottles of water, sweets), the impossibility of booking courses in advance and sometimes the drastic extra pays of courses’ prices.
Afterwards, we tried to understand whether our feelings were odd or really shared by the travelling community. This last assumption was quickly backed up by a small study of 50 Uber users.
Thus, we were ready to go for it: two strong value propositions for drivers and users.
|Benefits brought to drivers||Benefits brought to customers|
|Rates fixed at the General Assembly||Possibility of reserving a driver in advance|
|The control of customers’ portfolio||No increase in courses’ prices|
|Financial gain from each course||Strong value on service quality|
|Relief of commission costs||Relief of courses’ prices|
The development phase took place in an Agile Scrum mode. At the end of each sprint, usable versions were given to the MySam team as well as to key users. This collaboration mode avoided functional regressions and quickly resulted in having the product accessible in stores.
Nowadays, more than 4,500 drivers in France trust MySam, despite the very reduced advertising investment. The company has around ten employees now and has managed to raise hundreds of thousands euros in investments.
In response to the growing success of the app and competition (The CAB, Private Driver, MySam, etc.), Uber fought back by integrating a key feature in its app. Each driver approaching his destination is automatically notified of any other clients nearby. As such, he can accept them before he finishes the course. Though insignificant, this feature forces the driver to stay connected in the Uber app avoiding any downtime.
The second edge effect desired by the brand concerns the availability of drivers. A driver in course for Uber will not be available for MySam or any competing app. In order to thwart this strategy, several lines are currently being studied at MySam.