We had the good fortune of connecting with Pete Evenson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pete, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
In the beginning stages of Swoop, we would stay awake all night waiting to get on-demand ride requests for party buses. We put so much work into this “Uber for groups” business model and the numbers were great but it was really difficult to scale. Nonetheless, there was potential and we got fantastic reviews. We always had the feeling we were on to something and knew our team would be the ones to figure it out. As we pivoted multiple times we realized how dated the technology was within the group transportation industry. This sparked the idea to develop our own marketplace software that gives customers a better experience from the jump. After obsessing with the process of figuring out what the industry was missing, we created a product we never would have imagined. We refused to pack our bags and head home until we tried everything and it led us to the road we’re on now.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Many of the companies in the group transportation industry use the same playbook. Our CEO, Amir, grew up around the daily business operations of his parents’ limo service and gained a ton of knowledge on how group transportation companies operated. In an era of advance technology, the lack of it amongst vehicle operators was shocking to him. This led to our approach at Swoop to be the most innovative service in the industry. There were some growing pains throughout this process. Plenty of learning, adapting, and realizing we’ll be learning more so not to get jammed up on one project. After building our brand and establishing our service we began working closely with venues and businesses to send leads directly to us. Many of these early partnerships seeded larger accounts down the road. Along the way we kept our rabbit ears up, listening to customer feedback and applying it when necessary. This kept us from mistaking motion as progress. We always looked for ways to enhance our product and we still are. With the events surrounding COVID-19 we’ve had to take a step back. Groups aren’t getting together nor going anywhere – neutralizing our service during this time. We decided to shift gears and develop software other companies in the industry can use to help run their business more efficiently once the world starts moving again. We understand there will be a learning curve but we hope they eventually come to wonder how they ever existed without it. Swoop was built from the ground up by a close group of friends and we treat our clients and partnerships the same way. Accessibility and transparency have been our twin pillars since the beginning our journey and we’ll continue keep the same mentality until the wheels fall off.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
First I would make sure we locked in a Swoop for all of our travels so there won’t be any lulls while going from place to place. Then, I would have to start by hitting all of the beach cities – cruising along the coast from Manhattan Beach to Malibu and make pit stops at all the places in between. One of our main days would start at the Waterfront in Venice Beach for drinks followed by a trip down Abbot Kinney to get some delicious eats at Gjelina or Felix. Next we would have to enjoy a Lakers or Dodgers game and zip to Cha Cha Lounge for some weirdness afterward. When in LA, squeezing in some karaoke and BBQ in Koreatown is a must. Once I get tired of playing host I’ll let them have the stage. I’ll cross my fingers and hope that they don’t want to pick up one of those Star Maps and go hunting for Simon Cowell’s house. If they insist, luckily it will be in a Swoop and not a TMZ tour van. Hopefully, after all that is said and done, they’ll be too worn out and want to recharge somewhere on the beach. If not, we can go back to Warwick all night and make sure the next day they will.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Everyone that plays a role in the creation of a business from the ground up deserves a nod. Similar to the credits after a film. Who would be the first to appear on this list? We would have to say the parents of Amir – our captain. They’ve owned a limo company for over 30 years and gave us an immeasurable push into the industry we’re in. Amir grew up surrounded by the daily business operations of the business but never really knew what it was like to be out in the field. By lending us the vehicles that weren’t being utilized we were able to “Swoop up” people on the weekends and gained a ton of knowledge while getting a realistic gauge of what the industry was missing. Once we developed Swoop’s marketplace Amir’s parents became our first vehicle operators on our platform and we returned the favor by increasing their sales by over twenty percent. Without Amir’s parents and their generosity, we would be far behind where we are now. Realistically speaking, we probably would have never started.