Sidecar bids rideshare customers good-bye, says it will shut down on New Year’s Eve
The San Francisco-based rideshare and on-demand delivery service was founded in 2012 and operated in ten U.S. cities, but will close down tomorrow afternoon
The world of start-ups can be brutal, with only a few able to make it into a second decade of life. Today, the CEO of Sidecar, the rideshare start-up that garnered around $35M in funding, said good-bye to customers in a blog post.
“Today is a turning point for Sidecar as we prepare to end our ride and delivery service so we can work on strategic alternatives and lay the groundwork for the next big thing,” wrote Co-Founder and CEO Sunil Paul. “We will cease ride and delivery operations at 2PM Pacific Time, December 31.”
Paul had been co-founder and CEO at Brightmail from 1998 until its sale to Symantec in 2004 for $370 million.
Originally, Sidecar’s main business when founded in 2012 was similar to Uber and Lyft, but the company moved to using its fleet of on-demand drivers to making same-day deliveries for third party partners, delivering not only packages, but also food and groceries. At its shuttering, Sidecar only operated in ten cities, far less reach than its competitors, and most of those that they did serve were in California. Sidebar also operated with far less investor funding than their competitors, as well.
“Long ago we conceived of the technology that gave rise to the rideshare movement,” Paul said. “And nearly four years ago we invented what is now known as “ridesharing” with an app that connected riders with everyday drivers in their personal vehicle. People loved it. It was safe, convenient and affordable, and it quickly caught on.”
Now that task will be left to Sidecar’s competitors, and any new start-ups that wish to take on the industry’s leaders, as well as the traditional taxi and delivery businesses.