FOUNDED in 2017 by comedian and entertainer George McEncroe, women-only ride-sharing service Shebah has since recorded growth of 190 percent, turning over $1.8 million in 2018, up from $500,000 in 2017.
The company began its equity crowdfunding campaign two weeks ago aiming to raise $3 million. The capital raised will enable the company to grow its geographical footprint in Australia, launch into New Zealand and further develop the user experience on the app since its rapid growth in 2018.
So far the investment campaign has made history raising close to $1 million of which 95 percent has come from female investors. This is significantly higher than the average 17 percent that capital funding platform Birchal has seen on its platform to-date. Majority of the company’s new investors are becoming shareholders for the first time having experienced the Shebah service first-hand.
According to CEO George McEncroe,"We wanted to offer the fruits of our future success to the women who helped us grow, so we went out to the community of drivers and our passengers first. We were mindful that on average less than 3 percent of VC investment goes to female-led businesses in Australia and New-Zealand, a statistic we hope to see change. So starting with our loyal base made sense as they believe in our core purpose and in potential to grow."
A recent Forbes and TINYPulse report showed that, startup companies with female founders at the helm almost universally outperformed and are the fastest growing companies. Investors are starting to recognise this and growth in female-led businesses is set to increase.
The company’s founder also acknowledged the diversity within its new investor group and the reasons behind investor support.
"We seem to have started a social movement of sorts, something that women in particular feel strongly about and a service they believe is needed. Our investment group is incredibly diverse, including politicians, experienced investors (male and female) and mothers throughout Australia."
The exclusive community-only investment period has now closed and investment is open to the public, with only 18 days remaining. The company aims to reach its goal of $3m in the coming weeks, at which point it will embark on an accelerated growth phase for the coming years.
The Australian rideshare industry is worth $290 million and the taxi industry is worth $6 billion, with the market growing at 14 percent year-on-year, this is forecast to continue for a decade.