What is the 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians.
Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Chris King, NSW (b. 1988)
Name: Chris Eigeland
Known for: Splend
Working as an Uber driver may be a great gig, but what about those who don’t own a car? Chris King has the solution — Splend offers vehicles to rent for those who want to be drivers but thought they couldn’t.
Splend has provided nearly 700 Australians with employment opportunities, but it offers more than just the vehicle itself. Those working with Splend can participate in professional development courses as well as earn rewards.
Just as many great startups, Splend began as an idea born at Chris’ kitchen table, but this idea didn’t flourish without flaw. A major obstacle was the fact that ride-sharing wasn’t technically legal yet in Australia. This posed the challenge of finding willing insurers.
In order to combat this grey area of the law, Chris spoke with American insurers who had already grown accustomed to how the market was functioning.
“This gave Splend access to Australia’s first fully comprehensive vehicle insurance for ride-sharing services to protect both drivers and passengers,” Chris says. “I turned an obstacle into a competitive advantage.”
Chris says he had the advantage of being the first to dive into an unprecedented market, but his success was dependent on the chance state government regulation concerning ride-sharing would be put into place.
“Without hesitation I had to raise the money and just do it — before someone else,” Chris says.
Before regulation was introduced, Splend was able to solidify a partnership with Uber, propelling the business forward, Chris says.
Shortly after, regulation was passed and the gamble had paid off.
In its first year, Splend provided over 700 vehicles, which made possible over 40,000 ride-share trips every week across Australia.
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