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October 11, 2012

Ridesharing Company SideCar Receives $10 Million Investment

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

For most businesses, the economic downturn meant loss and failure. For one smart company, capitalizing on the economic downturn allowed them to experience tremendous, rapid growth. San Francisco rideshare company, SideCar launched last June and since then, they have experience 60 percent month over month growth. 

Managing Director at Lightspeed Venture Partners calls this growth a “great example of the strength of the Sharing Economy in action”, as well as “a great option for mainstream consumers who live in the bay Area and want a high level of reliability when they request a ride without needing to pay $50 to ride a few blocks.”

Image via Shutterstock

Now, SideCar has received $10 million in financing from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Google (News - Alert) Ventures. Sunil Paul, CEO of SideCar, says of the investment, “We created SideCar as an easy way to get around, but also as a first step in transforming transportation on a larger scale. We will use this investment to build our team, take our innovation to the rest of the world, and roll out products to accelerate the crowd-sourced transportation movement.”

Since its launch in June, SideCar has provided over 50,000 rides. With its new investment, SideCar is poised to take over urban markets on the West Coast before spreading throughout the country. There are a number of regulatory and human resources challenges that the company will face in each new city, but with their early success and the investment powerhouses that they have attracted, these constraints will, most likely, affect them less compared to other ridesharing companies.

Despite the fears that people in new markets may have about donation-based ridesharing, SideCar’s website promises that their drivers are licensed, insured, have passed a background check, and, while they may not drive an Aston Martin, they do, at least, have decent vehicles. Users are also able to request the same driver again in the future and rate their driver.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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