Written on the 3 March 2016 by Jenna Rathbone


ONE Gold Coast startup has failed in its attempt to piggyback on the popularity of controversial ride sharing app Uber, after being threatened with legal action and being forced to change its name.

Muber co-founder Manne Padowitz says the app was about to go live when the Biggera Waters company was asked to change its name after Uber concluded it was too close to their brand.

Padowitz admits it was strategically named Muber in an attempt to draw a link between the new service and Uber, however with the prospect of facing Uber lawyers the app was later changed to Mobey.

"Originally the name Muber made sense because it gave the public an idea of the concept of the app," says Padowitz.

"Uber is not a unique name; it is not a unique word.  The only reason Uber wanted us to change the name was because we adopt a similar business practice they do in terms of the method of operation."

Mobey is a driver on demand service, offering Gold Coasters the opportunity to have food, alcohol, commercial and private goods delivered to their home.

Since launching two weeks ago, the app has seen more than 700 deliveries from around 300 different app users.

While the company has partnered with a number of local restaurants, bottle stores and fast-food outlets, app users are able to direct Mobey drivers to any pickup location.

"It doesn't have to be a restaurant; you may have asked the Mobey driver to go to a pharmacy to pick up some nappies for your baby or even to the corner store to pick up a litre of milk," says Padowitz.

"The driver will actually pay for it, whatever the cost is, and that will be added to your trip cost, no cash involved, and it will be delivered to you."

Padowitz concedes the app was developed due to the popularity of Uber and the way the public has taken on delivery-on-demand services.

He says a lot of people who use Uber and taxis often chose to be picked up solely to be taken to get food or alcohol, then returned home.

"We picked up the demand from the public actually modifying ride share and we thought why not tailor a product that caters to this demand that is more cost effective," says Padowitz.

"When you do it as a delivery you are only paying a one-way fare, that is from pickup point to delivery point.  When you get a ride share app you are paying the cost of it picking you up, taking you there and then bringing you back.  That is double that fare."

Mobey drivers earn 80 per cent of the delivery fee and already more than 140 people have completed the induction course and are working for the company.

Similar to Uber, Mobey drivers are crowdsourced, use their own vehicles and can work the hours they choose.

Users wanting to purchase alcohol must purchase it from bottle stores that have officially partnered with Mobey and drivers are required to scan the buyer's identification to confirm proof of age. In addition, all drivers have RSA certificates.

Uber Rush delivers food in Manhattan, however it is expected the company will roll out the business model out across the world.

Mobey already has plans to roll out its app in Brisbane in April, followed by Sydney and Melbourne in the following months, depending on its popularity.

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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