Last updated: 09:50 PM ET, Sat January 02 2016

Uber Competitor Sidecar Has Ceased Ridesharing Operations

Car Rental & Rail | Michael Isenbek | January 02, 2016

Uber Competitor Sidecar Has Ceased Ridesharing Operations

Photo via Twitter/Sidecar

With the start of the new year, the pool of ride-hailing options just got smaller — Uber/Lyft competitor Sidecar has ceased ridesharing and delivery operations.

Announced by co-founders Sunil Paul and Jahan Khanna in a Medium post, the duo were quick to say in the statement that it isn’t the end of the company, and they will “work on strategic alternatives and lay the groundwork for the next big thing.”

The Sidecar founders expressed pride in being “the innovation leader in ridesharing despite a significant capital disadvantage, continually rolling out new products that set the bar for others to follow.”

In the statement, Paul and Khanna reiterated their stance that they masterminded ridesharing, wherein riders connecting with drivers and their personal vehicles using a smartphone app. As CNN pointed out, Uber put this concept into use before Sidecar, though only for limos, at first.

Since the company’s 2012 launch, the co-founders say they made “ridesharing safer, more convenient and affordable,” by allowing individuals to “choose their ride and drivers set their own price,” as well as introducing  “important innovations like Destination, turn-by-turn directions, Shared ETA, Shared Rides and Back-to-Back rides.” 

They also touted the fact that Sidecar Deliveries “became the #1 business-to-business delivery service in the country in a matter of months” after its launch.

Upon its launch, Sidecar received $35 million in venture capital funding, including a contribution from Virgin’s Richard Branson, CNN said. But as operations cease for the company, CNN pointed out that Uber “has become the most valuable private company in the world.”

“Shutting down the Sidecar service is a disappointment for our team and our fans.” They said, but feel there is a strong legacy, declaring, “The impact of our work…will be felt for generations to come. We changed transportation law, and created a new mode of transportation that has transformed cities and made life easier and better for millions of people.”

This announcement seems to have been unexpected for Sidecar drivers, though, with one replying to the statement on the company's Twitter page with, "Didn't need that job or anything, thanks for the last minute heads-up #happyf*****gnewyear."


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