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Softbank’s Billion Dollar Grab, Lyft Scoots, And Uber Goes E-Biking

This Week In On Demand – Dec. 29, 2018

The holiday season only seems to up the ante in the world of on demand. From food hustles to scooter hauls, here’s your rundown of the latest side hustle happenings.

Delivery Hero Earns $1.1 Billion for Germany Market

Late last week, Delivery Hero announced it reached a $1.1 billion deal with rival Takeaway.com for the former’s entire German operation. The agreement covers all of Delivery Heros direct services as well as their subsidies in the region.

The deal was split between cash remittance and an 18 percent shareholding transfer. Additionally, Delivery Hero will maintain a seat on the Takeaway.com board as long as they own at least 10 percent of the shares.

The move comes as the European food-delivery market becomes increasingly saturated. Some of the biggest competitors include top-performers like UK-based Deliveroo, as well as Uber Eats, which is reportedly pushing to triple its delivery fleet. Despite the sale, however, Delivery Hero is still a powerful force with over 40 markets worldwide.

SoftBank Continues On Demand Spree With Grab

SoftBank has become the go to investment bank for on demand companies around the globe.

Last Thursday, news broke the the company was planning to invest $1 billion in Grab. The Singapore-based ride-sharing company has shown rapid growth in Southeast Asia over the past year, beginning with their defeat of Uber in the market.

Once finalized, Grab joins other Asian-based companies that caught the eye of the Toyko-based investor in 2018.

SoftBank made investments in Coupang, OYO, and Ola this year, the latter of which made their own $100 million backing in Voga Lands last week. On the international level, the company provided funding for Uber and Fair — a deal finalized only a week ago.

Uber Hit With French Fine and Sets Sights on Rapid E-Bike Expansion

A 2016 data breach continues to hit Uber’s pockets. On Thursday, the business was fined $460,000 by the French CNIL agency for the handling and alleged attempted coverup of the incident.

Reportedly, 1.4 million French customers were impacted by the hacking event. In November, Uber was fined $1.17 million by the UK and Netherlands governments following an investigation into the breach. While there were substantially fewer users affected in the U.S., the company settled for a $148 million payout to state municipalities.

While the fines are quickly adding up, the situation doesn’t seem to be phasing Uber. Days after revealing their new Jump e-bike model, news broke that the company had ordered around 8,000 new bikes.

A report from Ocean Audit showcased the on demand company’s U.S.-bound shipments from China all occurred within a two-week period in December. While it’s likely in an effort to avoid the new tariffs that start next year, the news serves to highlight Uber’s e-bike expansion goals in 2019. But the company hasn’t commented on how soon the new fleets will hit the street.

Lyft Hires John Maddox for Self-Driving Division and Chases Uber in E-Scooter Markets

It’s been a busy year for Lyft’s Level 5 self-driving division. The company recently announced the addition of John Maddox as the senior director of autonomous safety and compliance. Maddox offers an impressive resume, including previous work in vehicle safety research at the U.S. Department of Transporation. He also founded the American Center for Mobility.

Maddox’s hiring comes just weeks after the company was granted a U.S. patent for their autonomous vehicle communication system. Other big-name hires include the former senior manager of Tesla’s Autopilot Programs, Sameer Qureshi, and infrastructure engineer Cal Lankton.

They also added a new team of senior designers last week to assist with improving user-experience in various aspects of their expansion efforts, including e-bikes and e-scooters.

Speaking of scooters, Lyft has spent the last week chasing after Uber’s expansion efforts. First, Uber announced the debut of its Jump scooter program in Atlanta and San Diego. Within 24 hours, Lyft shared their own plans to launch dockless scooters in San Diego, and within 48 hours, they were also entering the Atlanta market.

While the companies are known for rideshare services, both Uber and Lyft are quickly working to expand their transportation offerings. The latest push for scooter domination comes as the two brands push toward their 2019 IPOs. The closer they get to the public market, the tighter the race becomes.

That’s it for your last side hustle rundown for 2018. Check back in the new year to find out what excitement 2019 holds for the on demand ecosystem.