PETALING JAYA: Tripda, which made its Malaysian debut in September 2014, aims to make its carpooling platform as the most important means of transport in the country within a 10-year time frame. Its global co-CEO and co-founder Pedro Meduna (pix) told SunBiz that the high penetration of vehicles and internet in Malaysia makes it ideal to drive the company's growth moving forward. "I'm surprised that most, if not all, Malaysians drive their vehicles alone and carry no passengers. That to me means that the capacity is already there. "So, all that is needed now is to connect those people with empty car seats to car pool using our services," he told SunBiz in a recent telephone interview. The challenge, Meduna said, is to make car pooling the most important means of transport in Malaysia not in 10 years but in a year or two. To promote its products, he said, the easiest way is to be close to its users. To do that, Tripda has engaged university students as ambassadors to advocate the benefits of car pooling and form alliances with events and corporations. With a total of 11 campus ambassadors appointed in Malaysia, Tripda Malaysia helps to start off by instilling car pooling practices among students. Tripda hopes to double the numbers of ambassadors in the next three months to make car pooling a success among university students. Recently, to give its services more exposure, Tripda was appointed transportation partner for the 11th Penang Island Jazz Festival. It offered cash rewards and discounts for those who drove or carpooled using its platform to the festival last December. Tripda is also keen to strike partnership with corporate entities that are interested in embracing and instilling sustainability as well as go-green aspects of carpooling which reduces carbon emissions from under-utilised vehicles plus reduces traffic congestion. Started over a year ago in Brazil, the Rocket Internet-supported company is rapidly expanding throughout North America, Latin America and Asia. Currently, the company operates in 13 countries. "At the present time, we are eyeing at increasing our customer base since we are principally a marketplace," Meduna remarked. In a short span of time, Tripda now organizes more than 30,000 rides per month and its usage has growing by a 100% rate each month. "It is important for us to keep improving and keep that momentum going," said Meduna. Last week, Tripda raised US$11 million series A round of funding from Rocket Internet and an undisclosed New York based ventures capital firm. It plans to use the new round of funding to expand its global operations and grow its user base across 13 countries where it operates, as well as continuing to develop its web and mobile product for multiple markets Tripda works through its website and mobile app where anyone can post a ride and then carpool irrespective of their location. One can sort the available rides based on proximity, time or price and filter these rides based on price and car type and whether the trip is a ladies-only or not, in a bid to address privacy concerns. One also needs to sign up for the service through Facebook to book a ride and provide valid cell phone and email information as well. Passengers and/or drivers can also review each other post the journey, in a bid to establish trust for future commuters.