The company aims to tap into the sharing economy by matching individual drivers with passengers who'd like to go in the same direction. The concept is similar to ride-sharing startups such as BlaBlaCar but rather than long-distance trips, Volt is focused on moving people within the city -- for the moment, specifically Istanbul.
With Volt, the idea is that drivers will pick up passengers to offset their own expenses of owning a car, rather than to make a profit. Meanwhile, passengers save over 70% compared to taxi fares, according to Volt.
Volt says it has so far been able to attract 250 active daily drivers with practically no marketing budget. The company plans to use its new funding to grow its business in Istanbul and reach its goal of 100,000 daily drivers in the city.
“With already hundreds of highly engaged users, we believe that Volt has found the solution to one of the most indigenous problems of high density cities," said Walid Mansour, Managing Partner at MEVP, one of the region's largest venture capital firms with $120 million in assets under management.
"We're excited to seed Volt with $500,000 and we wish the team the best in their scaling of growth in Istanbul. We're also looking forward to larger rounds that will help Volt expand its solution globally.”
Uber is testing a similar business model called UberCommute, which it launched in China last year, and has since expanded to additional Asian markets.