Jamaican entrepreneur Cherie Williams launches ‘The Airbnb of car rentals” platform

Cherie Williams is set to revolutionize the car rental industry with the launch of Veekle, the Caribbean’s first peer-to-peer car rental app. As the founder and CEO, Williams brings a fresh and innovative approach to car rentals, allowing locals and travelers to connect seamlessly. This exciting new venture is poised to transform how car rentals are managed and accessed in Jamaica, providing a convenient, efficient, and community-driven solution.

Williams, a certified public accountant who also owns FIRM1040, a tax and accounting company in New Jersey, emphasizes that Veekle is more than just a car rental service. “It’s a community-driven initiative aimed at supporting local economies and providing convenient, affordable transportation options,” she explains. The platform allows car owners to make extra income by renting out their vehicles, thereby making their assets work for them.

The Airbnb of car rentals

Veekle is a peer-to-peer car rental platform that operates much like Airbnb but for cars. It enables local car owners to rent their vehicles to travelers through a safe, efficient, and user-friendly digital platform. This concept not only supports local economies but also offers travelers more affordable and personalized rental options. Users can sign up via the web or iOS app, with an Android version launching later in June.

Even before its launch Veekle was already generating a buzz in the startup community, winning the Development Bank of Jamaica’s Ignite Innovation Grant as well as several other awards. These include landing a winning pitch at Kingston BETA’s Startup Pitch Competition with a cash prize of $300,000, a first place finish in the Survival of the Pitchest Competition at the Caribbean Investment Forum held in Trinidad to secure a $25,000 cash prize and a third-place finish at FinTech Islands 2022.

Car sharing over ownership for environmental sustainability

Veekle aims to reduce air pollution and contribute to a greener environment. Williams plans to incentivize owners to list electric and fuel-efficient vehicles on the platform by offering lower commission rates. “We want every trip to advance us to a greener, more connected Caribbean,” says Williams, highlighting Veekle’s commitment to sustainable practices.

Williams expresses immense pride and excitement about the launch

“I am incredibly excited and proud of what we’ve achieved. The launch marks a significant milestone in our journey to revolutionize the car rental industry in the Caribbean. It’s been a long road, but seeing our vision come to life is immensely gratifying,” she shares.

The reception to Veekle has been overwhelmingly positive, with significant enthusiasm and support from both the local community and potential users. People appreciate the convenience and opportunities that Veekle offers. “The general sentiment has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve received a lot of enthusiasm and support from both the local community and potential users. People are excited about the convenience and opportunities Veekle offers, and we’re thrilled with the feedback so far,” Williams notes.

Veekle’s post launch plans

The immediate focus for Veekle is to ensure a smooth user experience and to expand its user base. The platform’s user-friendly interface provides detailed information about each available vehicle, including make, model, year, mileage, and user reviews. This transparency ensures that renters know exactly what they are getting, enhancing their overall experience.

Looking ahead, Veekle plans to conduct an island-wide tour to enhance brand awareness across Jamaica. Additionally, the platform is offering a 0% commission for the first three months of operation, and vehicle insurance coverage making it even more attractive for car owners to join the community.

Veekle will be officially available for booking starting July 15, 2024. The platform is currently open for user sign-ups, allowing early adopters who can already explore the platform and even sign up to be a provider. This launch marks a significant milestone for Williams and her team, who have worked tirelessly to bring this innovative service to the market.

“Veekle is not just about renting cars; it’s about creating a community and making a positive impact,” she says.

Source: Jamaicans

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