Dane Westerweller and Nathan Dawes are on a mission to make driving safer by disrupting a sector they say hasn’t changed in decades.
The pair co-founded the app LDRIVO, which gives learner drivers access to driving instructors they can select by applying multiple filters of their preferences and allowing customers to rate and review their teachers.
“Australia’s market is estimated to be $200 million a year with 190,000 learner drivers learning how to drive every year, so just with those figures alone, we knew we had a winner,” Mr Westerweller said.
Mr Dawes said they’ve been developing the app for two years.
“When you launch a startup, an app like LDRIVO, you’d do what’s called a minimal viable product, which is getting it out the door as quickly as possible, then getting the audience’s feedback to enhance it over time,” he said.
“But one of the critical things for us was wanting to launch globally to utilise first-mover advantage, building the app to be ‘global ready’ - meaning it has all currency capabilities for the currencies we require and has the language capability so we can very easily put it in different markets.”
While there are these benefits of having first-mover advantage, the long development cycle was risky.
“In the back of our minds we were always quite concerned and nervous somebody else might come up with the idea and take it to market before we even got to market, so we’ve been lucky we’ve still been able to get to market first,” Mr Dawes said.
He said they made sure they put measures in place to protect themselves and the business when they released LDRIVO.
“We’ve trademarked the brand in all the key markets that we want to move into so that people can’t rip off our idea, and that’s important for anybody starting a small business.”
The app has inbuilt tools such as diary tracking of customers and finance tracking to help instructors manage their business, while LDRIVO takes a 15 per cent commission.
The app is already helping more than 300 drivers such as Dave Jacks who have already signed up to use the app.
“It’s a game changer and I’m very comfortable using LDRIVO because I know the students are booked in, will be there on time, and the payment and everything is organised ahead of time,” he said.