On Monday I took an Uber to a club for Uber drivers.
Groove is a tenant of the food truck park, only without a truck. The “clubhouse” is a covered area set up for food truck patrons.
“We started this quest to find a community for drivers,” said Groove cofounder Manny Bamfo. “[Groove] is a home away from home for them.”
Groove’s target audience seems to be drivers who work full-time for multiple services. Many drivers try to maximise their take by signing up to work for multiple companies, then taking the best fares available.
The company is working on an app that will let drivers maximise their value while working.
Bamfo saw the opportunity to support on-demand drivers after working at Hitch, a rideshare startup acquired by Lyft last year. He also spent some time at LinkedIn.
Other than giving drivers a place to hang out and use the restroom, Groove provides them with free coffee and hot cocoa. But Groove wants to educate drivers, too.
“We offer monthly courses featuring fighting tickets in the city, navigating in the city, and maximizing tips in the car.”
For all of this, Groove charges drivers $US30 a month or $US300 a year. Around 120 drivers have registered with Groove since it opened two weeks ago.
Drivers can sign up for Groove on its website, but Bamfo says most people are hearing about Groove by word of mouth.
“A lot of people don’t see the backend, but there is a driver community,” said CJ Delacruz, a Lyft driver who was sitting with us. CJ is so popular with other drivers that they call him “SupaLyft.“
Even though Groove is brand new, people have already expressed interest in replicating the concept in other cities.
“We have drivers that have reached out to us in Boston and New York,” said Bamfo. “We’re going to go everywhere.”