Sidecar was founded in San Francisco in 2011 and they were among the first ones to launch a ride-sharing service in 2012, similar to what other companies such as Uber and Lyft are currently offering. Now, the co-founders of the company have announced that the service will shut down at 2 pm Pacific Time on December 31st. Apparently, this move will allow them to “work on strategic alternatives and lay the groundwork for the next big thing”. Another reason is the significant capital disadvantage they’ve been having compared to other companies. Despite this, they created a marketplace where people got to choose their ride and drivers could set their own price. They also innovated with features such as setting a destination, turn-by-turn directions, shared ETA, shared rides and back-to-back rides, allowing to pick a driver that was near you before they even finished their current ride.
The company seemed to get transit regulations, as the founders used their experience in car sharing to overcome future issues that other companies had to face over time. In fact, it was the first company of its kind to be allowed to operate at San Francisco’s airport. In 2014, Sidecar meant to offer a more personal experience, as drivers could register their rides with pictures or notes about themselves or what they were willing to offer on their rides like water or phone chargers. This year, Sidecar shifted to a delivery service and they even offered same-day deliveries, which was supposed to represent half of their business by this time of the year.
Sunil Paul and Jahan Khanna wrote: “Our vision is to reinvent transportation and we’ve achieved that with ridesharing and deliveries. It is, however, a bittersweet victory. Shutting down the Sidecar service is a disappointment for our team and our fans. The impact of our work, however, 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”. Still, they seemed confident that the company will live a little longer and they even teased that they will embark on a big adventure in 2016.