A new rideshare company is putting drivers first by allowing them to set their own fares and keep 100% of the earnings. Empower, a software company based in McLean, Virginia, aims to address the concerns voiced by drivers who feel financially burdened and voiceless when working for large rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.
Founded in 2019 by former lawyer Joshua Sear, Empower offers drivers an opportunity to have more control over their earnings and feel empowered in their profession. With the company’s app, drivers can set their own fare rates and retain the entire amount, resulting in the potential for higher earnings compared to traditional rideshare platforms.
Riders using Empower’s app also benefit from this model. On average, they save about 20% on their rides compared to other rideshare services. The app allows riders to customize their experience by requesting drivers of the same gender, language, or even their favorite drivers.
Empower initially launched its services in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and expanded to the DMV market in 2020. Currently, thousands of drivers in the region utilize the app. The company provides four app offerings: a driver and rider app for both iOS and Android, all built in-house using AWS, Azure Maps, and Google Maps.
To date, Empower has raised $11 million in funding, primarily from high-net-worth individuals, and is cash-flow neutral. The company intends to raise additional funds in the future as it prepares to enter new markets, with plans to launch in New York City and expand to other cities across the United States.
While Sear acknowledges the importance of expansion, he emphasizes the need for responsible growth that ensures proper support and resources for drivers. Empower aims to provide drivers with a successful platform to operate their ridesharing businesses without compromising their earning potential or convenience.