Technology

New App Unites Ride-Hailing, Messaging, Food Service

Posted on April 12, 2016

WATERLOO, Ontario -- ZEBU, a Canadian tech start-up, is an ambitious service set to become the true killer app and compete directly with multibillion-dollar corporate giants such as Uber and WhatsApp. The application is a one-stop shop, allowing users to message, hail a cab, order food among other tasks. The idea is the offspring of 18-year-old CEO Jesse David Thé, a first year business and computer science student attending Wilfrid Laurier’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics.

Thé set out to create a unified application that socially connects customers with businesses and people with people. By attracting top developers, Thé had the opportunity to create something beyond what is currently out there. It’s the idea that allows ZEBU to favourably compete with multi-billion dollar giants, who are the current leaders in the online economy – ZEBU is looking to change that.

Thé explained how he came across the idea for ZEBU: “I never understood why I needed to have so many applications. I got frustrated having to manage dozens of apps for messaging, ordering food, social media and more. I couldn’t find a simple one app solution so I decided to make one myself, ZEBU.”

The young CEO’s app is more than what it appears. ZEBU is just as much an app for business as it is for users. That’s what gives ZEBU its distinctive edge. It is a full ecosystem integrating the mobile app with a complete Cloud ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning System) to run complex companies. This means businesses can use ZEBU to not only communicate with customers, but also help run their entire business.

While the technology behind ZEBU is complex, the idea is simple: “Build a single platform to unify all the tools that businesses and people need to participate in the modern online economy. By coupling their ERP system with the mobile application, ZEBU can truly be a single solution for everyone’s needs.”

ZEBU also contains a unique mapping and dispatch system, web development tools more accessible than WordPress, a project management tool more complete than Asana, as well as a comprehensive messaging system equivalent to Slack, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. One of ZEBU’s most powerful features is the ability to develop a complete e-commerce website in minutes, allowing businesses to begin participating in the 21st century internet economy with just a few simple clicks.

“We set out to protect small businesses from the onslaught of multi-billion dollar companies. With ZEBU, small companies have the technology to put them on an equal playing field and compete directly with these corporate giants. Most of the SMEs (small-and-medium enterprise) that have seen ZEBU are already enrolled in our early adoption program and are thrilled with the positive impact it will have on their business and customers.”

The initial launch of ZEBU is targeting taxi companies, restaurants, and other businesses that rely on the dispatching of goods and services. ZEBU’s distinctive map integration offers more benefits than existing offerings, such as Salesforce. Companies will greatly benefit from the multitude of tools in ZEBU’s complete ERP.

“In the taxi market, ZEBU is like a taxi coalition to compete against Uber. Every independent taxi company or driver trying to compete alone against Uber will have no chance of surviving. However, if they all join the Zebu-powered coalition, they will be able to compete head to head with Uber and other ride sharing apps.”

The way it all works? The application enables users to chat with friends and also request rides. Upon a ride request, an available driver will receive the notification, pick up passengers, and charge through the mobile app. Customers can even call the cab company, who can enter requests through ZEBU’s ERP and notify drivers of pick up information. As a rider, users can follow the location of the driver from initial request to drop off. This transparency provides peace of mind, since passengers won’t be left wondering where their driver is and when they’ll arrive.

The start-up has been in talks with potential investors from Silicon Valley and has already managed to secure an angel investor. Thé indicated “The reputable Guelph taxi company, Canadian Cabs, has already agreed to implement and evaluate ZEBU. They’ll be using it for their dispatching and communications between drivers and passengers. This will allow them to decide on ZEBU’s permanent adoption. We are also receiving lots of requests from businesses in the USA and Brazil who are also interested in becoming early adopters of ZEBU.”

This disruptive technology aims to help small businesses succeed and challenge the biggest giants in the industry today. As ZEBU is preparing for launch, both users and businesses should be keeping an eye on this ambitious start-up. Thé strongly believes “It won’t be long before you start seeing ‘Powered by ZEBU’ everywhere.”

To learn more about Waterloo-based ZEBU, visit http://zebu.io.

Source: ZEBU press release

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