Innovation

Investing nearly $1 million of his own money, Andre Powell is on a mission to disrupt the $70 billion rideshare industry

BY Preta Peace Namasaba June 12, 2024 4:38 AM EDT
Andre Powell of Goldsainte. Photo Credit: LinkedIn

The advent of the Internet and mobile apps in the 2010s paved the way for ridesharing companies. By matching passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire via websites and mobile apps, rideshare services have made transportation easier and more convenient. Uber and Lyft are leaders in the market, accounting for over $40 billion in combined revenue. The rideshare is continuously evolving with some companies beginning to offer rides in self-driving taxis in the 2020s. The luxury ride-share space however remains grossly unexplored.

Investing nearly $1 million of his funds, Andre Powell is tapping into the luxury rideshare share space with his company, Goldsainte. The company has been marketed as “the world’s first franchised rideshare” and is looking to disrupt the $70 billion industry.

“I am incredibly excited about the current stage that our company, Goldsainte, has reached. Starting from the initial idea in late 2021 to the official launch in 2023, I have invested nearly a million dollars of my own funds to bring the company to this point. Now, we are entering the next phase of our journey, which involves franchising Goldsainte XL across the United States. Additionally, we are preparing to introduce Goldsainte Connect in the UK, further expanding our presence. With these developments in place, we are well-positioned for rapid expansion in both markets,” Powell explained the promising business trajectory of his company.

Powell was inspired to create Goldsainte following his frustrations with the inconsistent experience of renting a car or using more standard ride-hailing apps. He previously worked in the corporate world as a healthcare administrator before pivoting into a restaurant franchise owner. Having a taste for luxury brands, Powell saw an opportunity to make high-end brands more accessible to drivers and passengers. Goldsainte is consequently the world’s first luxury ride-share franchise, exclusively utilizing company-owned Bentley, Rolls Royce, Maybach, and Infiniti QX80 vehicles for ride-sharing.

Initially, the startup targeted influencers, athletes, celebrities, artists, and bankers as key customers. Powell soon realized that the pool of potential users was much wider as people sought ways of getting the luxury car experience for a few hours. This prompted him to change his business model and take on an innovative approach to franchising that combines advanced proprietary technology and a fleet of branded Infiniti QX80 vehicles provided by franchisees. Goldsainte is already being used by celebrities, like Chris Weidman, Rapsody, and Chris Manhertz, and Powell hopes it will help make luxury vehicles more accessible.

The company is redefining the rideshare market by offering a range of benefits to owner-operator groups. Its low upfront capital requirements allow franchisees to enter the market with minimal financial strain. Goldsainte does not have ongoing inventory purchases or expensive build-out expenses and that makes it an attractive option for aspiring entrepreneurs. In addition to his $1 million, Powell is raising a $3 million seed round to help expand Goldsainte’s footprint across the US.

The Goldsainte app is two-dimensional. One part resembles other rideshare companies and enables users to book a ride from one location to another. The other part operates as a high-end car rental marketplace where members can list their vehicles for people to rent and is exclusive to members. All aspects of the ride are customizable, from the music to the temperature of the seats, to give users the ultimate luxury experience. Goldsainte has already expanded its reach to 38 states and plans to establish a minimum of twenty franchises this year.