The Billion Journey Project is Go-Ahead’s industry-leading accelerator programme, getting us closer to the latest technology and entrepreneurs who can help us shape the future of public transport.
Following the success of Demo Day in September, the second Billion Journey Project cohort is already underway. Each week we will be going behind the scenes to find out more about the ten exciting companies on the programme and what they could mean for Go-Ahead.
First up, we catch up with Tom Dewhurst, founder and CEO of Ordoo, an app to order and pay in advance at your favourite cafés, coffee shops, lunch spots and bars – beating the queue and earning loyalty rewards.
Tom from Ordoo presenting his business to the cohort at our Lab HQ at Huckletree West, White City
BJP: In five words, can you sum up what Ordoo is?
Tom: Food and drink collection app.
BJP: Nicely done! Tell us more about how it works.
Tom: Ordoo saves busy people time collecting food and drink, by allowing people to order and pay in advance at cafés, coffee shops and lunch spots. We know people are time-pressed, and our app allows them to beat the queue at their favourite eateries, and earn loyalty rewards. As well as being a great experience for customers, it means retailers can build better relationships and drive loyalty too.
BJP: What makes you different from other apps on the market?
Tom: We work with loads of venues in a given area to offer customers a selection of menus. This means customers have more choice and don’t need to download a series of apps that do the same thing.
BJP: What’s your vision for bringing Ordoo to the public transport industry?
Tom: Ordoo is already working on the high street, but we believe there could be great value in bus and rail stations. When you think about the hundreds of thousands of commuters passing through stations every day, for example, ordering and paying for your morning coffee in advance and avoiding the queue would appeal. A partnership with a transport provider like Go-Ahead could drive real value and loyalty as well as improve the passenger experience. Our vision is to roll out the service to all the stations on the network where there is a food and drink venue.
Tom from Ordoo, on the first day of the programme.
BJP: What did you do before you founded Ordoo?
Tom: The idea for Ordoo came when I was researching the adoption of digital payment for Accenture. It was clear the future would be mobile payments, and I saw the customers wanted to order, not just pay, with their smartphones.
BJP: What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn as a start-up company?
Tom: Everything takes a lot longer and costs more!
BJP: And finally, finish this sentence: ‘The future of public transport is…’
Tom: Modular. I really think that shared transport will adapt into connecting ‘modules’ that take you where you need to go – a cross between buses and Uber.
Initial Project Overview:
Ahead of Demo Day in January Ordoo will be looking to run a trial of the service at Brighton Station, across rail and bus.