The brainchild of twenty-one-year-old Jack Thomson, Friendfare calculates the amount of petrol spent per journey based on car type and distance, making it easy for lift-sharing friends to fairly split the cost between them.
The software engineering student at Aberystwyth University came up with the idea with his cousin Tom and friend Rob after spending long journeys travelling to various mountain bike locations around Wales.
Following their trips, they were inevitably faced with the task of working out how much the designated driver was owed.
Applying his knowledge of software design to solving this common problem, Jack spent several months designing and perfecting Friendfare.
His efforts are now bearing fruit with the app set to launch next month on both iOS and Android platforms.
Speaking about the launch of Friendfare, Jack said: “I hope Friendfare will be a handy solution to the common conundrum of when friends are trying to work out how much they owe each other in petrol costs.
“It’s gone through several prototype stages and been heavily influenced by user feedback to ensure it’s easy and functional to use. It’s been a labour of love and I can’t wait for it to go live now!”
Despite the app not being available to the public just yet, Jack is already thinking of ways to develop the Friendfare concept further still, in order to help facilitate solutions to other problematic day-to-day finance issues, such as bill splitting at a restaurant.
And crucially Jack is also developing mobile payment functionality within the app’s range of services, so Friendfare can become a full-service mobile application.
Jack continued: “I believe there are real opportunities to branch out beyond lift sharing and now I am comfortable with building and developing the app, I’m actively looking for ways to continue expanding and evolving Friendfare’s offering.”
Tony Orme, careers consultant at Aberystwyth University said: “Jack is a fantastic example of a student applying entrepreneurial thinking to their studies to start their own business.
“At Aberystwyth, we encourage all our students to act upon their entrepreneurial flair to enhance their own experience at university and increase their employability when they graduate.
“We’re looking forward to seeing Jack’s app launch soon and wish him every success in the future.”
Jack created the Friendfare app with the support of Big Ideas Wales, the support service for young entrepreneurs aged 5 to 25.
Big Ideas Wales forms part of the Welsh Government’s Business Wales Service and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Jack first heard about Big Ideas Wales through his university Entrepreneurship Society and soon after had his first meeting with business advisor Sam Allen.
Sam was able to offer Jack advice on how to develop his business, as well as advising him about upcoming events hosted by Big Ideas Wales that could benefit him, including the annual ‘Bootcamp to Business’ event in Margam Discovery Centre.