- Ride-sharing behemoth Uber announced its global exclusive partnership with in-car commerce startup Cargo today, which will roll out to San Francisco and Los Angeles immediately.
- You’ll be able to buy snacks and other necessities while you’re on your ride – assuming your Uber driver is taking part in the program.
- The items for sale will include energy bars, earbuds, and moisturizing masks. Some items will be free, and others will be paid.
- Uber drivers can make an extra $US100 per month on average from Cargo, the company says.
The next time you hail an Uber in San Francisco or Los Angeles, you may see a box full of snacks, beauty supplies and simple electronics for sale strapped to the center console of your driver’s car.
The ride-sharing behemoth announced its exclusive global partnership with New York-based startup Cargo today. Uber drivers in those two launch cities will be eligible to pick up Cargo boxes loaded with snacks and other goodies from their local Uber service hub for free, and sell those items to riders on commission.
All told, Uber estimates that taking advantage of Cargo could make those drivers an extra $US100 a month. For every product a driver distributes, even free samples, Cargo pays them $US1, as well as 25 per cent of the retail price.
Cargo cofounder Jeff Cripe tells Business Insider that “it’s really just additional, risk-free income” for drivers.
This isn’t a new idea: Some drivers for both Uber and Lyft have taken to selling basic items from their cars as a way to help make a more livable wage. Cargo itself launched in June 2017, with some 7,000 drivers already signed on. So far, Cargo has raised $US7.3 million in venture capital funding.
The partnership with Uber will bring Cargo into more cars, especially as the deal expands beyond these first two cities. For Uber, it gives the company one more amenity for riders that rivals like Lyft can’t match.
Importantly, Uber drivers aren’t obligated to take part in this program, and can even sign up for Cargo competitors like Vendigo, if they so choose.
Here’s how Cargo works, and how you might be buying snacks straight from your Uber driver:
Good news for hungry people: Some Uber drivers are going to start selling snacks and other goodies straight from their car, via a partnership with startup Cargo. But it’s an optional program, so don’t assume every Uber will have this.
The Cargo boxes fit neatly on the center console of the car, held securely down by ties. Items for sale might include RX Bars or hydrating masks. Some select items will even be free — but Cargo places a limit of four free items per passenger.
Every Cargo box has a unique four-digit code specific to each Uber driver. Passengers can simply scan the QR code to access the Cargo menu while on their ride…
…or plug in the URL for the mobile website. There’s currently not a Cargo app to download, nor can you pay for products via the Uber app, at least for now. It’s all cashless; you can pay with Apple Pay, Venmo, and other digital wallets.
The Cargo team builds the menu based on the city and time of day. So in San Francisco, for example, the menus cater to techies with lots of energy bars and earbuds for sale.
The Uber driver will receive a notification on their phone when a passenger’s transaction has been completed. They will then unlatch the Cargo box door and hand the ordered items to the passenger at a safe stopping point, like a stop light.
And voilà! You get your goodies. Cargo’s partnership with Uber will expand to other cities eventually, including New York and Dallas. For now, though, the Uber/Cargo partnership is for Los Angeles and San Francisco only.
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