Next time you need a ride and you can’t find a cab, what are you going to do?
You could tap a button to hail an Uber car, ask someone with a pink mustache on her car to pick you up (Lyft), or request a Sidecar.
Sidecar, which recently raised $US10 million from Union Square Ventures, is determined to become the go-to ridesharing service for economically conscious people.
“I don’t think it’s a winner takes all market,” Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul told Business Insider. “It might be a winner take all for a narrow, particular way of tackling the space. Uber is winning the use case of push a button and a car will show up.”
Sidecar, on the other hand, is going after cost-conscious people who want more control and certainty.
“If you’re a big spender and don’t care about 6x or 7x surge pricing, then Uber is your service,” Paul says. But if you actually care about choices, Paul says, Sidecar is for you.
That’s why Sidecar recently launched a marketplace to help riders find drivers with the lowest fees, larger cars, nicer cars, etc. Drivers set their own rates, so you have a better chance of finding a cheaper ride.
What also differentiates Sidecar from the competition is that it asks for your destination upfront, before you even get in the car. That way the driver doesn’t have to bother the rider for directions, and the rider knows the price of the trip upfront.
With Uber, for example, you tell the driver where you’re going once you get in the car. Then the driver starts typing the address into an old-school GPS device that sits on the dashboard.
In the past few weeks since testing the marketplace, driver hours are up 50% overall. Several of its drivers, Paul says, make anywhere from $US50,000 to $US60,000 a year.
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