Duncan Mitchell – CEO and Co-Founder of Ryde: Ryde Equips Businesses With The Technology, People, And Vehicles They Need To Establish An Integrated Logistics Solution

August 24, 2022

Ryde equips businesses with the technology, people, and vehicles they need to establish an integrated logistics solution. We focus on same day delivery with the technology to make it cheaper and more efficient than any other delivery option.

The company’s delivery solutions are suitable for every type of business – from the high street retailer to the eCommerce giant.

We are a people and planet focused business and put strong emphasis on the treatment of our workforce. We operate a fully green fleet and our goal is to transform last-mile logistics and hyper-local delivery for good.

Our mission is to be a leading force in the evolution of hyperlocal, instant delivery. And to ensure that we make a positive contribution to both local communities and the planet.

**Our values are:**

  • **Humility:** We like to try to surround ourselves with people smarter than us
  • **Artistry:** We love making beautiful products and we don’t like to compromise
  • **Curiosity:** We are nosy! We want to constantly learn how to get better at what we do.
  • **Adventure:** Life should be fun. We want our business to be a big adventure.

Tell us about yourself?

I moved to the UK from Australia 20 years ago. I had a lengthy background in the pharmaceutical industry before changing course and founding my first start-up in fashion in 2004.

Fashion events required temporary workforces and it is here that I began my subsequent career in building gig-economy businesses.

Initially focused in the hospitality industry, I supplied to everyone from Wembley Stadium to Madonna. I had since pivoted into workforce management software and more recently led Ryde through fundraising to scale its last mile offering.

Tom Nimmo and I (the co-founders) have considerable sector-specific experience. Tom grew cleaning marketplace Hassle across Europe before the team sold the company to German-based Helping.

On the other hand, I developed TempTribe into a market-leader in tech-enabled hospitality staffing and eventually sold it to The Concerto Group (acquired by CH&Co) before we got together to start Ryde.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

To focus on rapid change and iteration more than we did. Sometimes we have been guilty of holding onto anything from a feature build on a product to an individual in the team that we knew were not right. I’d like to have actioned many of these things faster to drive a high performance culture.

What problem does your business solve?

We help businesses of all sizes seamlessly outsource their delivery workforce and deliver same day service.

For everything from live route mapping to proof of delivery, customers can count on Ryde to power their business.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

The inspiration behind Ryde was to offer cost-effective and environment-friendly deliveries with the help of riders who are productive, busy, and happy.

The business environment today presents a lot of opportunities for smaller businesses. The idea is to continuously find what’s good for business and what’s good for your customers. It is easier said than done but is a big part of any business, whether restaurant or retail, that intends to grow seriously.

We recognised early on that smaller players are striving to supply goods to obtain a competitive edge but clinging to delivery systems that aren’t serving them.

In business, a lack of automation can make weather and traffic forecasts and route planning problematic, resulting in more significant fuel costs and a loss of trained personnel.

Because time is the most valuable asset, it stands to reason that automation systems addressing challenges related to time on the road will potentially aid in assisting organisations in achieving their logistical goals.

Micro-consolidation and e-cargo bikes can be used to reduce the number of large vehicles on the roadway, as well as the accompanying traffic, emission, and parking inconvenience. 

Ryde is helping solve these and many other problems for smaller as well as larger players in retail, restaurant, and pharma sectors.

What is your magic sauce?

The key to our success has been to build best-in-class technology and focus on giving amazing service to both our customers and the workforce.

One of the major glitches delivery firms often run into is last-mile providers. By paying careful attention to the needs of our customers and adapting on the fly, we have evolved our product to satisfy very specific needs.

Ryde has made instant delivery possible by building a unique shift booking technology called Hourly+. The solution helps improve rider productivity by offering them better job security while allowing customers, especially those within the retail and grocery space, to reduce the cost of operations while increasing fulfilment rates for on-demand deliveries.

Additionally, Ryde provides leading technology via an API integration that our customers use to power their operations. It is a white-labelled solution which means the customer retains their brand integrity throughout.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We aim to build a business that first and foremost is renowned for being good to its people and the planet.

We know that hyper-local delivery is the future and we hope to be a meaningful part of unlocking it in a net-positive way. We are building novel solutions to improve the efficiency of the last mile and reduce cost per delivery.

Our vision is to be a leading force in the evolution of hyper-local, instant delivery and to be the UK’s most innovative delivery service business.

We also want to ensure that we make a positive contribution to both local communities and the planet.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

I think the main challenge is the cost of last-mile currently. It has been very difficult for businesses that do not have the scale and density of Amazon to reach profitability.

Customers have developed extremely high expectations of fast and very cheap services and we are seeing this to be unsustainable for companies.

Deliveroo lost £300m last year. Venture capitalists are re-thinking how they deploy cash. It will be interesting to watch the emergence of things like robotics in delivery becoming more commonplace. Retailers will need to figure out ‘rapid, same day service.’

Ryde is innovating its delivery solution to build the leading same-day, dynamic delivery technology to help businesses reduce costs and deliver more.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We love growing our workforce through word of mouth recommendations. Happy riders bringing their friends into the business is a great validation of what we are doing.

On the commercial side we are constantly looking for value add partners with a focus on their environmental and people credentials to work with.

We want to work with any businesses that want to shift from next day (and beyond) delivery to same day and even instant. This can be anyone from large grocery retailers to high street fashion stores.

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