Business credit card advantages.

4 Advantages of a Business Credit Card

Running a small business is tough, but having the right tools can make it easier. Whether you run a small business full time or supplement your income with the occasional side hustle, having a separate business credit card can give you a host of benefits.

If you do not already have one, there are some compelling reasons to get a separate credit card for your small business. Here are four big benefits of a business credit card.

#1 A Year-End Spending Summary Makes Tax Time Easier

One of the benefits of running a small business or being self-employed is that you can write off certain business-related expenses. Unfortunately, keeping track of those expenses can be tough, especially if you pay cash for some purchases and use your personal credit card for others.

When you open up a business credit card and charge all your purchases, you put all your spending in one place. Better yet, you can use the year-end spending summary you receive to get a jump start on your tax planning.

#2 Valuable Rewards and Perks

You spend a lot to keep your small business running, from gassing up the car before your next Uber ride to buying printer paper for your home office. When you have a business credit card, you can get points and perks for each of those purchases.

You need to buy all that stuff anyway, so why not get rewarded when you do? Just look for a business credit card that offers airline miles, gift cards and other perks that will make your life easier.

#3 More Time to Pay

When you put your business-related purchases on the plastic, you get extra time to pay. Using the card issuer’s money is an important, yet often overlooked, advantage of credit card use.

This perk only applies if you always pay your business credit card balance in full, but if you do, you can arbitrage the funds and improve your cash flow dramatically. That cash flow benefit can be extremely valuable to your small business.

#4 Keeps Your Personal and Business Expenses Separate

It is vitally important to keep your personal and business finances separate. Even if you just take on the occasional side hustle, keeping that income separate from your other earnings will make tax time easier and help you avoid problems with the IRS.

Having a separate bank account and credit card for your business activities will make this separation easier, so you can worry less and focus on serving your customers. By charging all your business-related purchases to a single card, you can avoid comingling your finances and simplify your tax preparation.

Whether you run a small business or find extra work as a freelancer, it is important to take your activities seriously. Opening a credit card for your business may seem like a simple thing, but it can make your life, and your tax planning, a lot easier.


Woman at desk doing business.

Going Independent in Business: How To Secure Your Best Interests

The golden days of the digital and gig businesses are on the horizon. While plenty of businesses and entrepreneurs have already succeeded in earning attention, profit and sometimes even vast fortunes, the market is still expanding.

The old-world model of business used to put power in the hands of the wealthy, but the current era of digital marketing puts power into the hands of the skilled. This radical and necessary shift in market factors has been happening over the last 20 years, and there are plenty of success stories to prove that the trend is rising.

Small businesses that once believed they’d be forced out of the market can now experience successes that were never possible in their hometown. Big businesses that treat their customers poorly and succeed based on a lack of competition are failing at a record pace. And to top it all off, the independent entrepreneurs have the freedom, tools, and access to labor that they need to achieve success. The market is thriving.

Going independent in a modern context means that a person or small business now has the ability to remove most or all control by outside entities. Entrepreneurs can call the shots, small businesses can secure premium prices and large businesses can cater to different markets. The best part of going independent is that most of these entities understand what it takes for them to be happy and enjoying life, and the digital era of independence allows them to move closer towards that happiness. The only caveat here is that happiness is a personal matter, and so there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The path is inherently personal.

The basics of going independent are quite simple, but implementing them varies. For example, a large business might have several factors that need to be eliminated before they are able to successfully end their reliance on outside sources. Small businesses might have plenty of opportunity but too few customers. Entrepreneurs might need new outlets, outsourced work, and mere opportunities for profit in order to establish themselves. And within these three subcategories, preference and success can change from day to day. However, even with all of this possible variety, there is a simple method of approaching independence that remains the same among all of these entities.

It’s Methodical: Put Your Interests First

The method of going independent is based entirely on putting your interests first. Interest here is a twofold word, and it is best understood in terms of security and preference. There is a risk in getting too hung up on preference or security, but both of them are like sides of the same coin, and there is no way to be truly independent without both. Security in finances, long-term stability and operations is something that all businesses and entrepreneurs strive to achieve.

Achieving Financial Security

Financial security implies that even after the bills are paid, there is a comfortable cushion to protect the business from any circumstances that cannot be controlled. More importantly, financial security is protection against factors that can easily be predicted and mitigated against. The failure of a business tends to revolve around an inability to meet costs more than anything else, and profitability is usually factored into this equation. Financial security could then be seen as the ability to simply meet necessary costs and reduce them to the lowest manageable form to maintain a business model.

Achieving Long-term Stability

Long-term stability is a separate form of security and revolves around factors like skilled labor, market conditions, and competition. Long-term stability is only achieved after financial security has been reached, because long-term stability is highly reliant on financial power. Long-term stability could be understood as the security of all factors that are not directly financial. A great example of this would be a skilled laborer: if a skilled labor were to leave the business, they would place a gap in the system that could not necessarily be filled with money alone. Another example could be a business connection, warehouse pricing, and advertising avenue or other line of communication that is a significant part of expenses and revenue.

Achieving Operation Security

The final form of security is in operations. Logistics, transportation, marketing, organization, location and personnel all affect operations. When big businesses talk about overhead, these are the factors that they are most often referring to. Smaller businesses often do not need as much of this overhead, but it exists in some capacity with any and all business models. Operations are the true process by which profits are achieved, and so an end to operations is an end to profit. The system that conducts operations may be resilient to simple changes, such as an employee calling out sick, but it can be entirely halted by a single machine failing to turn on. In this sense, security of operations is somewhat tied to financial security, but the two are still independent because aspects of operations cannot simply be remedied with money.

The alternate form of operation security is to have a long chain of backup strategies in the event that any part of the system begins to fail. A single day of operations might seem insignificant for long-term profit, but it is the problems that can arise as a result of failed operations that are most severe. A great comparison to operations would be the human immune system. If our immune system is failing, we can still fix it without getting sick. However, if we do fall ill, it is often far harder to fix that illness than it would have been to maintain the immune system. Failing operations might be easy to fix, but once a vulnerability has been exposed, the system becomes far more susceptible to threats.

On Preference and Personal Interests

The other side of independence is preference. While achieving security is great, it does not necessarily imply that preference has been achieved. A house can be perfectly secured without being a dream home. If the far end of the business-failure spectrum is the entrepreneur that won’t make business decisions because they “don’t want to,” the other end is the suit-and-tie success story that hates his job.

Preference is like a compass that points towards an ideal life. While it can be easy to ask people about their dreams and preferences, it is rare that they have a specific strategy to achieve those dreams and preferences. By merely seeking their own preference in life, most business owners and entrepreneurs might find that their goals and aspirations are moving them further from true happiness than they would like to believe. Preference only comes from desire, and the bottom line of preference is that in order to achieve it, a strategy must be conceived. True preference is a matter of choice, so there is no room to gamble. It must be strategic.

Forming a strategy of preference is all about remembering the above forms of strategy and doing some self-searching. What exactly is more ideal? It doesn’t matter if it’s more profitable or less stressful, all that matters is that it is a step towards a preferred life or lifestyle. Remember, some executives have quit their seven-figure jobs to travel the world and become schoolteachers, so profit and occupation are clearly only small aspects of true happiness. Independence can only be achieved, then, when reliance is reduced to a minimum, security has been secured, and preference can guide decision-making. All other forms of independence are simply small steps towards true independence.


Getaround Buys Drivy

Tesla Ridesharing, Waymo Plans New Factory, Getaround Buys Drivy

This Week In On Demand― April 26, 2019

This week, a new charging station includes dedicated chargers for ridesharing EVs, Waymo announces its plans to open a self-driving car factory, and Ireland takes a cue from the US and begins questioning how legal eScooters are on its streets.

Waymo Announces Autonomous Car Factory Is Coming to Detroit

After a rocky start in Arizona (literally, people were throwing rocks at them), Waymo announced it was opening a driverless car factory in Detroit sometime this year. The company will be using a repurposed factory so it can get started as early as June 2019.

According to Waymo’s blog, this will be the first factory in the world that’s 100% dedicated to driverless car manufacturing. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation approved an $8 million grant for autonomous car production back in December 2018.

The news comes as a much-needed boost for the Motor City, which has been struggling to regain lost ground after the Great Recession of 2008. As Waymo brings 100 jobs and a capital investment of $13.6 million to the area, we believe that a bright future is in store for Detroit.

EVgo and Maven Unveil New Electric Charging Hub in LA

Electric charging station company EVgo teamed up with Maven (GM’s ridesharing division) and the City of Los Angeles to test a new concept in charging stations.

The charging station includes EV chargers for public use, as well as dedicated chargers strictly for Maven Gig drivers. Maven Gig provides car rentals exclusively for rideshare drivers. This is a first in the country, and if all goes well, EVgo and Maven plan on expanding the program nationwide.

It’s hard to say how successful the program will be. As rideshare drivers continue to contend with pay cuts and legislation that is decreasing the demand for rides, they will likely be unable to afford to rent cars for work. But electric vehicles help with this since there are no fuel costs.

Maven EVgo Charger


Tesla Getting Closer to Unveiling Autonomous Ridesharing Service

Tesla released some details about their plans to open their new car-sharing service, Tesla Network. The company says their tech should be ready to open and drive unsupervised within three years.

Tesla plans to create a ridesharing service that allows owners of the Model 3 to make money by allowing their driverless cars to give rides when they’re not using them. ARK Invest Founder Kathi Wood says that research indicates that Model 3 owners could make up to $10,000 yearly if they “participate fully” in the Tesla Network program.

The Tesla Model 3 costs $45,000. Owners who participate could recoup their investment within five years.

Tesla Network is certainly an innovative way to create a ridesharing service that benefits both drivers and owners. By tapping Model 3 owners, they likely will not have the same labor issues that companies like Lyft and Uber are experiencing right now.

European Car-sharing Service Drivy Bought for $300M

Getaround, a car-sharing service based in San Francisco, bought European car sharing platform Drivy for $300 million this week.

Drivy is headquartered in Paris and touts 2.5 million users in Europe. The acquisition of Drivy by Getaround allows it to significantly expand its customer base in Europe. Getaround now supports car sharing in 300 cities throughout the US and Europe.

At the heart of Getaround’s success is its proprietary technology that lets users immediately locate and unlock cars with their smartphone, similar to what Uber does with its scooter service. This eliminates the hassle of having to meet with the owner to get keys.

As car sharing and ride sharing replace car ownership in major urban markets, companies like Getaround will continue to Thrive.

Ireland Questions the Legality of eScooters on Its Roads

As the mobility and on demand sectors continue to increase in popularity, governments are beginning to examine current legislation to find ways to legislate and tax ride-sharing services and mobility companies.

Ireland is the latest country to begin debating the legality of eScooters.

According to Irish law, it is illegal to drive motorized scooters on the country’s sidewalks. Drivers are also required to have a driver’s license and proper insurance for the vehicles. Police have “turned a blind eye” to the law because it is impossible to find a company willing to write an insurance policy for the vehicles.

While the safety of eScooter rides is constantly being questioned by governments around the world, we don’t believe that this will have any effect on the industry as a whole.

That’s the news for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s roundup.

business startup funding

Why Money is No Longer an Obstacle for Starting Your Own Business

When you work for an employer, your hard work benefits the company’s bottom line, not your own. If you work long hours to pull off a project on an impossibly tight deadline, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a raise or even get recognized for your contribution. That is why becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business is so important; your dedication and persistence can give you financial independence, security and greater creativity than you could ever have working for someone else.

However, starting a business has always been cost prohibitive, making would-be entrepreneurs reconsider their ventures. But from changes in the loan industry to new forms of marketing, it is possible to launch a successful venture on a shoestring budget.

Alternative Sources of Funding

As a young entrepreneur, there are obstacles you will have to overcome professionally and personally. Gaining funds for your business, particularly if you do not have good credit or are carrying hefty student loan debt, is one of the toughest challenges you’ll face in launching your enterprise. You might have the greatest idea for a product or service and great customer demand, but without startup funds, you are stuck.

Traditional bank loans can be hard to secure just starting, and loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) are increasingly competitive. In 2015, the SBA’s (7) a program, it is largest funding initiative, actually ran out of funds halfway through the year due to the deluge of applicants. The growing number of strong candidates means it is difficult to get SBA loans even when they are available.


Thankfully for young professionals, technology, and the internet has made old school banking unnecessary. It is possible to launch a new business without significant cash flow, even if you do not have great credit or a lengthy credit history. Entrepreneurs have access to options now that previous generations did not. Here are the top ways to get the funds you need to launch your business:

Online Lenders

Online services like Kabbage and Lendr are a quick alternative to traditional loans; rather than months for your application to be processed, online lenders review your application and transfer funds in just days. They also tend to be more flexible in the types of applications they approve.

Peer to Peer Lending

Peer to peer lending is a growing industry, where entrepreneurs can secure loans from individuals on sites like LendingTree or Prosper. Investors review your goals and business idea and give you a loan, with interest rates varying depending on your determined credit risk. Even people with bad credit can usually get the loan they need to build their business if they are willing to take on stricter terms.


When you have an exciting idea, people are eager to bring it to market quickly so they can start enjoying your product or service. Individuals can contribute small amounts to help you launch your business; some platforms like Kickstarter allow you to give investors rewards or samples, while others require you to give up a share of your business. This process can be an excellent way to build the funds you need and grow your audience.

New Forms of Marketing

Previously, you needed a serious marketing budget to get your products or services in front of potential customers. From billboards to the newspaper, advertising was an expensive venture.

But with the growth of social media and easy-to-use platforms, marketing can be done cheaply. You can create a professional-looking website for as little $20 with a custom domain and launch Twitter, Facebook or SnapChat channels to promote your services and engage with customers.

Social media advertising and Google AdWords allows you to target your marketing efforts to a very specific niche demographic, down to the exact location and age group you want to reach. You can run campaigns for as little as $5 and stop and start them whenever you want. This approach allows you to try out different strategies until you find what works for you.

Social media influencers can be invaluable tools as well. Giving bloggers or social media personalities free samples or trials can get you incredible exposure if they use and review your products. With some writers, you can ask them to do a sponsored post on their sites, reaching their loyal and extensive audience base. Because they have built so much credibility and trust with their followers, a sponsored post on their site can get your significant traction.

Inexpensive Legal Help

Forget hiring a lawyer or bringing on a legal consultant; online legal services make it possible to handle the legal side of your business cheaply and efficiently. For instance, with LegalZoom, you can incorporate your business, reserve a “Doing Business As” name and even get your business license online; most services cost are one-time fees starting around $79.

Mobile Office

Gone are the days when you needed to rent office space or a storefront to get customers. As long as you have a laptop and decent internet, you can run your business, sell products and engage with consumers. With virtual meetings software, you can hold video teleconferences and get face time with clients and freelancers, no matter where they are in the country. Without the overhead cost of physical office space, you need less money to make your business success.

Even for those who need an office, you do not need to rent a whole building. Co-working spaces are increasingly popular, with common work areas available for employees to share popping up all over the country. They can be a budget-friendly way to have a designated work area outside of your home.


As the economy continues to shift towards technology and mobility-based approaches, it is easier than ever to launch a business without much money. Companies are created and are selling products with as little as $100 invested; cost is no longer a barrier to being an entrepreneur. With so many options available to you to make running a business more straightforward and less expensive, you can turn your good idea into a profitable enterprise without waiting around for a big business loan.


Softbank rideshare king

Deep Pockets: The Top 10 Ridesharing VC Firms

As ridesharing startups roar forward, cutting large swathes through the transportation market, a handful of venture capital firms have been injecting massive amounts of cash into the leading ride-hailing companies. With sharp-eyed instinct and practiced senses honing in on top prospects, these VC firms have refined investing in a sure thing to a fine art.

1. Softbank

Few VC firms have had as much influence on one sector as Softbank has had on ridesharing startups. The Tokyo-based firm has been pouring money into the ridesharing market since 2015 when it first funded Ola, a cabsharing company from India. Softbank has helped to raise $4 billion for Didi Chuxing, more than $7 billion for Uber and has invested $3.4 billion in Cruise Automation, a San Francisco startup that makes software for self-driving cars. In 2018, Softbank moved into logistics when they raised $1.9 billion for Manbang Group, a swiftly expanding truck-hailing company based in Beijing.

2. Tiger Global

This aptly named American VC firm has invested heavily in ridesharing startups since the beginning of the ridesharing boom. Tiger Global is a longtime supporter of both Ola and Grab, a ride-hailing startup based in Singapore. The firm also participated in two large funding rounds for Brazil’s 99 carsharing service before it was snapped up by Didi Chuxing in 2018 for $1 billion.

3. Fidelity Management & Research Company

As the investment arm of the American financial services company Fidelity Investments, Fidelity Management & Research Company has plenty of cash to use in bankrolling the ridesharing sector. The firm has recently become one of the top investors in Lyft, raising more than $2 billion for the ridesharing giant in less than one year. They recently raised $335 million for bikesharing startup Lime and have turned their eye to the sky, investing more than $100 million in the airline charter startup Wheels Up.

4. Magna International

Canadian automotive company Magna International is banking on self-driving cars as the wave of the future. Initially, the company was mainly interested in car tracking technology. They first invested $8 million in car locator app Zubie in 2014 and followed it with a hefty $16 million payout for Peloton Technology, a truck tracking company. In May 2018, they joined in the ridesharing funding craze by raising $200 million for Lyft.

5. Seqouia Capital

One of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious VC firms, Sequoia, has been just as eager as smaller firms to dive into the rapidly growing ridesharing sector. They were an early investor in Uber, joining in on an $11 million Series A funding round in 2015. Sequoia has also dabbled in the Asian ridesharing market, financing iCarsClub in Singapore and Ola in India. More recently, Sequoia led a $300 million funding round for Bird, an up-and coming scooter sharing service.

5. Coatue Management

This New York-based VC firm has hedged its bets by investing in a wide variety of ridesharing companies from every part of the globe. From Didi Chuxing in China to Careem in the United Arab Emirates, Coatue has helped to raise over $3 billion for various ridesharing companies. Coatue has also invested substantially in both Uber and Lyft, as well as the bikesharing startups Ofo and Lime.

Careem cofounders


6. Index Ventures

Although the Swiss VC firm was a late arrival to the ridesharing scene, they have more than made up for lost time. They raised $100 million for Blablacar, Europe’s largest ridesharing startup and helped fund Bird’s $100 million Series B funding round. The Geneva-based company has also contributed to less well-known ridesharing startups like Less, which was recently acquired by Blablacar.

7. Tencent Holdings

The owner of China’s ubiquitous WeChat app, Tencent is also one of the largest investment corporations in the world. Long focused on investing in e-commerce and entertainment startups, Tencent began to eye the ridesharing sector in 2014 when they helped raise a $700 million Series D funding round for Didi Chuxing. The company has never looked back, raising $150 million for Lyft and $7.7. billion for Uber. Tencent has also dabbled in the bikesharing market by raising $1.1. billion for Ola and more than $900 million for Mobike.

8. Accel

As one of the world’s top VC firms, Accel has invested in many successful tech startups, including Groupon, Flipkart and Spotify. However, Accel has also made its mark in the ridesharing world. A longtime investor in France’s Blablacar, Accel has also raised substantial funds for lesser known ridesharing companies like Shuddle and Hailo. More recently, the company has shifted its focus to electric scooter firms, raising $300 million for Bird and $25 million for Skip Scooters.

9. GGV Capital

GGV Capital is one of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious VC firms and has a bevy of high-profile investments top prove it, most notably Alibaba and Pandora. However, the firm has also injected millions of dollars into ride-hailing startups like Grab and Didi Chuxing. More recently, they began concentrating on the bike sharing sector, raising over $150 million for Hellobike and participating in a $50 million Series B round for Lime.

10. Steadview Capital

Unlike other VC firms, Hong Kong-based Steadview Capital is particularly choosy when selecting its investments. Since it was founded in 2009, Steadview has only invested in a select few companies. Together with Softbank and Tencent, it has funded Ola’s rapid rise to the top of the ridesharing market in India. Altogether, the firm has raised more than $400 for the taxi-hailing startup.

By carefully selecting the most promising startups, these VC firms jumpstarted and rode the ridesharing boom. Whether they have a diversified portfolio of investments or are just focusing on one part of the market, their capital has helped fund the rapid rise of ridesharing companies in North America, Asia and Europe. As the market moves into bike sharing and scooter sharing, these firms will continue to be on the forefront of the ridesharing trend.


Airbnb Host Advice

Insuring Your Airbnb, HomeAway, Or Other Peer-to-Peer Rental

The internet and the rise of peer-to-peer transaction platforms have created a lot of opportunity for those looking to make a few extra dollars. Have a clean driving record and a clean, well-maintained car? Drive With Lyft or Uber. Want help with some errands? Check out TaskRabbit. There are even platforms that make it easy for individuals to issue microloans to small businesses and complete strangers.

The most popular platform, Airbnb, connects travelers with places to stay in private homes, condos, and guest rooms. AirBnB’s popularity has given rise to competitors, including HomeAway, Vacasa, and TripAdvisor’s FlipKey.

The market for peer-to-peer vacation rentals is so strong, niche companies are on the rise. Innclusive and NoirBnB, according to Curbed, appeal to gender and racial minorities who felt discriminated against by AirBnB property owners. Kid and Coe brands itself as an online marketplace for family-friendly private lodging. Even procrastinators and those traveling without the opportunity to plan ahead can find last-minute refuge through Overnight’s platform.

Overall, vacation rentals in the United States are big business, bringing in just under $18 million in 2017 in the United States with a projected growth of 6.6% between 2018 and 2022.

Do you want to grab a piece of the pie? Before you list that vintage Airstream you’ve been restoring for years, or try to fund a European tour with revenue generated by renting out your empty home, you need to start thinking of your personal property as a commercial asset…with all the liabilities of a corporate-owned hotel chain.

Your Homeowner’s Policy Isn’t Enough

Homeowner’s policies specifically exclude any business activity conducted on the insured property, and the exchange of money for use of a short-term rental is, of course, a business transaction. Landlords renting their homes to long-term tenants can protect their assets when they require tenants to purchase renter’s insurance and name the property owner among the beneficiaries of any claims.

Finding the right insurance to cover short-term rentals isn’t always so easy. Few insurance carriers offer products designed for peer-to-peer vacation rentals, though that number should rise now that the concept is catching on among the mainstream market. AirBnB offers a Host Protection Insurance program, and they “hold” security deposits paid by guests, but their coverage is limited to $1m and many users—both hosts and guests—have reported a variety of issues in receiving compensation from the platform for property damage and liability claims. The program’s terms and conditions have exclusions that leave property owners vulnerable.

While the premier peer-to-peer rental platform heavily promotes its dedication to protecting hosts and travelers, it strongly encourages property owners to take out their own, separate business insurance policies, and to look into incorporating their rental business. This is common sense. YOUR insurance policy protects you.

While traditional homeowners policies may not be sufficient, a new startup called Slice has started offering on-demand insurance for rideshare drivers and homeshare hosts. And yes, of course they have an app through which you can purchase on-demand homeshare insurance.



Don’t Forget to Check Local Laws

Before you settle on a policy to cover your short-term rental side business, make sure you’re in compliance with your city, county and state laws, and ordinances. Your Homeowner’s Association, for example, might prohibit any commercial activity altogether, including short-term rentals.

Given the popularity of peer-to-peer short-term rentals, “big business” is joining in, purchasing condos, apartments, and single-family dwellings. This pressure on housing availability for traditional rental units, as well as the market share hit suffered by local, established hoteliers, has compelled local governments to impose laws and zoning regulations that effectively ban short-term rentals.

Most local governments don’t take such extreme measures, but many do require homeowners to obtain business licenses and commercial insurance with liability minimums.

Make Informed Decisions

Before you decide to rent out your property to overnight or multi-week guests, do some research into several peer-to-peer platforms. Seek out independent, online forums for platform reviews, renting advice, and recommended resources, and be sure to find the right commercial liability product for your specific needs.


Uber Ceo Khosrowshahi

Uber Files for IPO, The Shift To Scooters, Highest Rideshare Tax Proposed

This Week in Mobility – April 19, 2019

This week, Uber keeps IPO details confidential as it talks up investors, Phantom Auto attempts to expand into logistics with its latest funding round, and proposed rideshare tax debates heat up in Georgia.

Uber Woos Investors With Road Show for May IPO

After months of anticipation, the company that started the ridesharing industry began touring the country to talk up investors. Uber privately filed with the SEC for its IPO back in December, and little information is available about what the offering price will be.

This is the second ridesharing company to go public this year, and one of a handful of tech unicorns that are focusing on growth above profits. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi stands to pocket a $100 million bonus if Uber’s valuation stays at $120 billion or higher for 90 days past the IPO.

Experts speculate that the Uber IPO could make Lyft stock more attractive since Lyft is a smaller company that had higher growth, and smaller losses. But growth doesn’t always translate to profits, and after the first day of trading, Lyft stock dropped significantly.

Uber lost over a billion dollars last year. While the platform is growing and the company is constantly seeking new markets and creating new services, growth for growth’s sake isn’t a sustainable long-term business solution.

Phantom Auto Expanding Remote Driving Operations into Logistics

While autonomous vehicles are making headlines with new AI that can drop a car virtually anywhere, Phantom Auto has been quietly working on remote control tech. The company recently raised $13.5 million in its latest financing round, for a total of $19 million since opening in 2017.

Phantom creates software that allows humans to remotely pilot vehicles in difficult traffic situations, bad weather, and other hazardous conditions. Using only a cellular connection, the company is now expanding into the logistics sector, driving everything from forklifts to semi trucks.

Though autonomous vehicles look promising, many companies have invested billions of dollars and still require human intervention on premises. Remote control technology flips this idea on its head, giving the software the ability to take over where humans often fail. It will be interesting to see what this does in the upcoming months.



Georgia Proposes The Country’s Highest Rideshare Tax in the US to Date

A proposal to amend HB 276 in Georgia legislature could tax riders up to 8.9% every time they use Lyft or Uber to catch a ride.

The potential law changes come after Georgia failed to collect sales tax from Uber back in December 2018. The Georgia Department of Revenue sent a $22 million tax bill to Uber for three years of uncollected sales taxes. Uber disputed the bill, stating there is no state tax on rideshare rides.

As ridesharing has become the norm around the United States, many government agencies are responding by creating or changing legislation in order to get a cut of the profits. Unfortunately, these taxes hurt drivers, riders, and the local economy.

While the final details of the bill haven’t been approved and Uber is still debating its tax liability, it may be safe to assume that rideshare taxes will become standard for most passengers in the US

From Bikes to Scooters: Are Mobility Companies Finding Their Sweet Spot?

Bike share is losing ground in popularity. Last year more people took rides on scooters, according to new research.

The dockless bike trend seems to be fading as it did in China. When the sudden surge in popularity began back in 2017, US and Chinese companies began popping up all over. Critics warned that the shine of dockless biking would wear off. When China pulled out of the US market last year, it essentially sealed the fate of profitable dockless biking services.

Though governments seem to be fully on-board with the program like Divvy in Chicago, are these programs destined to disappear? If so, it would be a blow to Lyft, who purchased Motivate, the largest U.S. bikeshare provider, last year.

While the answer seems to be yes, what works in the for-profit industry sometimes lingers past its prime in the nonprofit sectors. Mobility companies, including Lyft, have found a new, possibly profitable, venture in electric scooters.

The data seems to back this up, as The National Association of City Transportation Officials reported that scooter trips were higher than station-based bike share in the United States for the first time in 2018. Now, companies like Lime, Jump, and Lyft Scooters just need to work on scooter durability.

Native’s Recent Funding Proves On Demand Market Research to Be Valuable Business

Market research is the latest innovation in the on demand economy. Native, with operations led by former Uber staff, uses its platform to get market research in the trenches from locals. This research is vital to brands that rely on emerging markets and need up-to-the-minute pricing information in order to stay competitive. A recent $2.5 million funding round to manage its growth shows that its business model is working.

While Native is currently an outlier, this could be the start of the on demand economy becoming a mainstay of the B2B market.


Used car shopper on lot.

Four Factors To Keep In Mind When Buying A High-Mileage Used Vehicle

If you’ve just begun the Uber or Lyft vehicle-shopping process, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the number of makes and models available within just about every price range. However, if your searches have shown that a used vehicle is likely to make more financial sense for your budget, you may be wondering what you can do to ensure the vehicle you purchase still has plenty of life left.

With many of today’s vehicles easily able to travel hundreds of thousands of miles without requiring major repairs, there has never been a better time to buy used. Still, it’s important to know what to look for while you’re vehicle shopping to ensure your ultimate purchase will serve you well for many years. Read on for four tips and tricks to help you select a high-quality, high-mileage used vehicle.

1. Confirm Mileage

For decades, used autos had a less-than-stellar reputation due in large part to a vocal minority of unscrupulous sellers; some were known for rolling back vehicle odometers to advertise them as “low mileage.” By simply rolling back the “1” on a vehicle with more than 100,000 miles, sellers could pull out the “little old lady” trope, claiming that the vehicle had been owned by an elderly individual who simply used it to drive to church or the grocery store once or twice per week.

The advent of digital odometers in most vehicles, along with more punitive laws regarding falsification of vehicle records, has largely eliminated this practice; however, it’s important to confirm the mileage of any vehicle you’re considering by asking for a copy of its Carfax report. This report should indicate any potential discrepancies or gaps that could prompt you to ask a few follow-up questions, and honest dealerships are happy to verify the accuracy of their recordkeeping.

2. Investigate Service History

The average vehicle on the road today is nearly eleven years old. Over this period of time, a vehicle should undergo a number of service and maintenance procedures, from oil changes and tire rotations to coolant flushes and brake replacements.

If the used vehicle you’re considering doesn’t have a well-documented service history, you may be facing a number of deferred maintenance tasks that could ultimately shorten the life of the vehicle. While it’s likely some of these maintenance processes may have been performed but simply not recorded, your best bet is generally to look at only vehicles that can demonstrate a history of timely maintenance.

In addition to ensuring this maintenance was performed, you’ll also want to do a bit more digging to ensure the maintenance was properly performed. Simple things like using the wrong type of oil for your vehicle make and model could lead to engine problems, while installing the wrong brake pads or too-large rotors could result in premature wear and tear on your brake system.

Used car service history


3. Look Out For Rust

While high mileage isn’t a concern in and of itself, many high-mileage vehicles have been driven in areas with snow, sleet, or ocean air: all prime causes of vehicle rust. Although rust can be treated and rust damage reversed when caught early, purchasing a high-mileage vehicle that has some rust damage could set you up for future problems.

Not only can rust be an eyesore, rust that affects your undercarriage can damage your exhaust system or key components of your vehicle like the drive shaft or oil pan. By carefully inspecting your prospective vehicle to ensure all the paint is original, you’ll be able to rest assured that your vehicle has been well cared-for and maintained. Seeing patches of touch-up paint can indicate the previous owner attempted to repair rust damage him- or herself.

If you do opt to purchase a vehicle that has some surface rust, you’ll want to make an appointment with a body shop to have this damage professionally repaired. Doing so can significantly extend the life of your vehicle while helping you identify any potential problem areas that may need to be monitored going forward.

4. Test Drive For Burning Oil

One of the primary complications that can come with a high-mileage engine is an increase in its oil consumption. Engines have many plastic and rubber components like seals and hoses, and the wear and tear on these seals that comes with high mileage can cause them to become degraded and less effective.

While most of these seals and hoses can be easily and inexpensively replaced, they don’t always manifest themselves in an obvious manner. For example, you may not realize you have a leaky seal until your low oil light comes on, which can indicate a dangerously low oil level that may have already caused some damage to your engine.

As a result, you may want to take your prospective vehicle on an extended test drive, checking the oil dipstick before you leave and after you return to observe any difference in the oil level. An engine that burns some oil doesn’t need to be a dealbreaker but should be a factor when negotiating your sale price.