The App to find the Cheapest Gas
When childhood friends and GasBuddy founders Dustin Coupal and Justin Toews left small town Saskatchewan to go to school in the United States they were surprised at the large variation in the price of gas.
“You could drive around the block and save $0.30 per gallon on gas. You notice this less in Saskatchewan but in the United States there is a huge difference in price from block to block.” shares Jeff Peters, Senior Director of Retail Services Operations with GasBuddy.
The idea for GasBuddy started as a website. People would drive around to find the prices of gas and then go home and input the information for others. GasBuddy became a way for people to crowdsource information about the price of gas in a community.
Since the service expanded to include an app, GasBuddy has seen over 70 million downloads. Some users claim to save $300/ year on the platform.
“We have people of all ages using the app, from a sixty-year old uncle that likes to compare prices between Calgary and Edmonton to the eighteen-year-old that is putting themselves through University and wants to save money,” shares Peters.
The successful idea caught the eye of OPIS (Oil Price Information Systems) and after significant investment the team expanded to include sixty people in the United States, in addition to the sixty employees based in Regina. Peters relays “We are getting a chance to work with a group of talented, smart people that think and do business in a different way than we are used to.”
In addition to helping people save money on their day-to-day gas purchases, GasBuddy has also found a way to provide genuine value during emergencies. “There was Hurricane Sandy that hit New York and they had to enact fuel rationing. GasBuddy was used to help people figure out what places still had fuel. This was valuable for the rescue teams as well as people trying to leave the area for safety.”
GasBuddy was also instrumental during Hurricane Harvey and Irma. “During this time, we beat our record for monthly usage stats in just a couple of days,” smiles Peters.
It’s an exciting time for this Saskatchewan gem. “We are the number one convenience store app in the world and we don’t own any convenience stores.”
Founders: Dustin Coupal, Jason Toews
Incorporation Date: 2000
Employees: 60 in Regina, 60 in United States