Playing Matchmaker

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BizDojo residents Espen Grimstad and Bonnie O'Neill spend most of their weekday’s matchmaking for thousands of Kiwi’s and Australian’s. But before you ask them to ‘hook you up’, do yourself a favour and read on.

Six years ago Espen was studying at the University of Auckland and over the summer he scored himself a sweet job at a rental car company. Things were going great at work, but he noticed they were always complaining about the cost of relocating cars around the country - which at $400-$800 a pop is pretty understandable!

*Cue light bulb moment* Why not start a company which offered the service of matching rental cars that needed to be moved with travellers who were keen to go ‘against the grain’ on their journey through the countryside! Awesome stuff Espen.

So Transfercar was born, and what a beautiful wee thing it has grown into! In five years it has over 45,000 drivers registered here and across the Tasman, and is gaining a reputation as the preferred matchmaker service for rental car companies. A win-win scenario, Transfercar allows rental companies to list all the cars and campers they have available in a particular location and where they need to end up after a specified period of time. People can then choose the route and car they want to take, making travelling on a budget a breeze! 

True, there are other businesses out there that offer this kind of product, but most are acting as agents for the rental car companies which cause too many complex crossovers. The Transfercar website is simple, straightforward and easy to ‘navigate’ (if you’ll excuse the pun) - it is all about introducing the driver to the car. And thanks to lots of top notch relationship building, solid marketing, search engine optimisation and ‘driving traffic’ to the website, Transfercar are able to offer an unbeatable number of drivers that are ready to go.

Like most of us here, working from their homes proved sufficient for what they were doing, but not for what they wanted Transfercar to grow into. Two of the Transfercar partners, Brian and Noel, do still work from home and there are a handful of part timers working around the place. But for Bonnie and Espen, they find their operational tasks are completed a lot quicker and decisions are made a lot faster being here in the office together, instead of Skype and chatting over the phone. As well as feeling the energy of the BizDojo (and loving the coffee machine), they also see a lot of networking opportunities that they will soon be making the most of.     

So what’s next for Transfercar? Besides world domination (starting with the USA of course), Bonnie and Espen are working on a website upgrade and redesign that will be bringing in a whole new set of functionalities. Phew! And if that wasn’t enough to keep the ‘engines’ cranking, they also have their sights set on bringing some bigger rental car companies on board.