The peer-to-peer car service, Sidecar, which uses a smartphone-based app to match riders with drivers has secures USD 15 million led by existing and new investors, Richard Branson, Avalon Ventures and Union Square Ventures. The new funds will be used to help fuel Shared Rides and our nationwide expansion.
“I like companies that are innovative, offer exciting customer experiences and make the world better,” Branson said in a statement. “An entrepreneurial company like Sidecar can take on the big guys with innovation and big ideas, not just big bank accounts. It has been reported this is a winner takes all market, but it’s not. These are early days and, like a lot of other commodity businesses, there is room for innovators on great customer experiences. Sunil and Jahan and the team have the potential to make a real difference in the market.”
Including this round, Sidecar has raised a total funding of USD 35 million till date. It competes with on-demand car services such as Uber which valued at USD 18.2 billion and Lyft is valued at more than USD 700 million. Sidecar is currently available in ten markets in the U.S.
Four months ago the company introduced Shared Rides in San Francisco and 13,000 people requested a Shared Ride in its first month and now thousands of matches are being made each week. It aims to reach 500,000 Shared Rides in one year and to create the largest transportation marketplace in the world.
We believe we can do this by building a system that is so affordable people will use it daily just as they do the bus and metro. We’re making a big bet on Shared Rides, just as we did with instant rideshare. We believe they are the ticket to building Sidecar into the world’s largest transportation system. A system that is so smart and so affordable it will be accessible to everyone, everywhere and everyday.