GM electric foldable bike

Acquihire Makes Instacart Mighty, GM Bikes, And Lime Electrifies…Cars?

This Week In On Demand – Nov. 9, 2018

You better take a seat because this week has been incredibly busy in the on demand industries. From impending grocery delivery showdowns to tiny cars flooding the streets of the Emerald City, here is what’s happening in the gig economy.

Instacart Nabs Google Hires and MightySignal Team

On Monday, Instacart announced two new members of the team. Varouj Chitilian, who spent the last 12 years at Google, is the first VP of engineering while Dave Sobota becomes the first VP of corporate development after 13 years at the tech powerhouse. The addition of Chitilian and Sobota comes just days after the delivery company announced the acquisition of the MightySignal team — a six-member group of app analytics engineers.

The acqui-hire and VP appointments are all part of the company’s preparations for the impending market battle with Amazon. A few weeks ago, Instacart scored a $600 million investment from D1 Capital Partners, which brought their 2018 funding total to $950 million. While they may be set in investments for the year, more team changes and expansions are expected as the stakes in on-demand grocery delivery rise.

Deliv Scores $40 Million Investment While Amazon Creates an In-House Delivery Team

Amazon Flex’s biggest rival, Deliv, has landed $40 million in funding. Some of the big players in the Series C round included General Catalyst, UPS, and RPM Ventures — all of whom are already invested in the last-mile delivery company. Yet, this round also saw a new lead investor in the game: Google. Deliv has now reached a total of $80.4 million, with the latest round valuing the company at just shy of half a billion dollars.

As Deliv expands, Amazon has announced it’s building its own seasonal in-house delivery team for the holidays. In the past, mail services like USPS and FedEx were the go-between for last-mile deliveries between the warehouse and the final destination. Now, the company is looking to reduce costs by cutting out the middleman. Unlike its Flex service, all of the seasonal staff operates as full-fledged Amazon employees instead of contractors. As a result, each hire is privy to temporary company benefits.

With the goal of cost reduction, it’s a wonder why they didn’t utilize Amazon Flex drivers to fill the gap. The contractors already assist with Amazon Prime and Prime Now orders. While a full-service team does ensure consistent deliveries because of guaranteed driver availability, the inclusion of benefits with the in-house operation raises costs. Plus, the switch-up may reduce the workload options for Flex drivers. As a result, we may see a wave of Flex contractors jumping ship for Deliv’s ever-expanding operation areas.

GM Sets Its Sights On Electric Bikes

Easily accessible, electric transportation is the future, and now, automotive power player General Motors is ready to make the leap. However, this time, the automaker isn’t interested in cars; instead, they’re setting their sites on electric bicycles. The company offered a sneak peek at it’s two new e-bikes, which are set to hit the market in 2019. One option is designed to fold up for easy movement, while the second version offers an incredibly compact design.

Currently unnamed, GM is keeping mum on their goals of their two bike models. The company may choose to sell them to the public or use them to launch a bike-sharing service. In both instances, it’s likely to affect the leaders of the bike-sharing industry — Lime and Jump. Lime’s bike fleet isn’t as large as their scooter fleet, but GM’s bike offering could reduce scooter demands. Jump, on the other hand, now has the financial power of Uber behind it, making it a more challenging opposition. Either way, GM is likely to offer more details early next year, so keep your eyes on this space for more information.

In the meantime, if you want to suggest a name for GM’s new bike, head over to, GM is running a contest. The person who suggests the winning name will win $10,000, and nine runner up will each get $1,000.

Lime Shifts Focus to Small Electric Car Rentals In Seattle

While GM moves to e-bikes, Lime is moving in the opposite direction. Known for their growing fleet of electric scooters and bicycles, the company is reportedly making the leap to rideshare services. However, unlike Uber and Lyft, Lime’s variation of rideshare involves their own fleet of incredibly small electric cars in which renters will drive themselves. The company has recently applied for permission to launch their car sharing pilot program in Seattle with a fleet of 500 vehicles. If approved, it could be their first step towards shaking up the rideshare industry.

The news of Lime’s transition to electric car sharing services came out the same day the company launched a $3 million scooter safety campaign. The initiative is designed to educate riders on safety procedures as well as offer free helmets to signers of their Respect the Ride pledge. Another 250,000 helmets are set to be sent to markets worldwide.

This move comes in midst of a California-based class-action lawsuit regarding scooter safety issues. As we reported last week, the company was also forced to pull many of its e-scooters off the road for faulty, fire-prone batteries. While it may be more a move to save face than inspiring change, the campaign serves to counteract any negative attention Lime’s received in the past month.

Now that you’re caught up on this week’s side hustle news, it’s time to make some predictions. With GM and Lime reportedly moving into each others territory, do you think there’ll be an acquisition in the future? Check back next week to see if your forecast is accurate!


Deliv vs. Amazon Flex

Deliv vs. Amazon Flex: Which Side Hustle Is Single-Parent Friendly?

Scheduling extra part-time work as a single parent is incredibly hard. Not only do you have to work around your own work schedule, but you also need to cater to your child’s timetable. Rideshare and on-demand delivery services are two of the most popular options for individuals to boost their income. However, the majority of these programs don’t offer the flexibility and minimal earning potential that a parent needs.

Fortunately, there are two new styles of delivery in town—Deliv and Amazon Flex. They are both well suited for the busy schedules of parents. If you’re looking for a new side hustle, take a closer look at these two options, below. Also, if you’re going to drive delivery, check out our article on the best vehicles for delivery drivers.

What Is Deliv?

Deliv is a same-day delivery service whose retail partners include Best Buy, Google Express, Walgreens, Macy’s and many others.. The company just raised $40 million in a funding round that included General Catalyst, Clayton Ventures, and Google.

Instead of the general public ordering through the app, businesses utilize the service to ensure their clients receive prompt deliveries of their goods. Essentially, drivers end up representing Deliv and the business at the same time.

Deliv’s delivery services are broken into four main categories:

  • Small Business
  • Enterprise
  • Fresh
  • RX

As the name suggests, Deliv Small Business serves the needs of local small businesses. This category also includes individuals that sell products in the area. The Enterprise level focuses on big retailers with locations in the area, while their Fresh services work with produce and other fresh foods. Deliv RX is their newest offering, which provides deliveries for pharmacies. When you become a Deliv Driver, your deliveries may cover any of these categories.

Deliv delivery service


How It Works

Instead of multiple individual delivery requests, drivers sign up for three-hour shifts, known as blocks. During the block, the company pays for both time and mileage. Each driver signs a contract that assigns them an hourly block rate, and each delivery is given an estimated time. As long as you’re working on a delivery, you’ll earn the hourly rate as well as $0.50 per mile. However, if no deliveries end up being scheduled during a block, the company only pays out 50% of the overall block rate.

Driver Requirements

Right now, Deliv is available in 35 markets around the US, including cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle. If you live in one of these areas, you can apply to become a Deliv driver at any time. The company’s requirements include:

  • Age: Minimum of 18 years old.
  • Phone: Must have a smartphone with a data and texting plan.
  • Background Check: Applicants have to pass a criminal and DMV background check.
  • Lifting Ability: All drivers need to have the ability to lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Vehicle: Must use an insured car, truck, SUV, or minivan made in or after 1998.

Once approved, drivers are required to take an online certification course. Upon passing, you’ll need to use the Deliv app to submit your availability for the upcoming week. Drivers can also begin by picking up shifts that are currently open.

What Is Amazon Flex?

Like Deliv, Amazon Flex is a local delivery service. We covered them previously in our Amazon Flex Sign Up Guide. Typically, they offer same-day or next-day delivery, depending on the business. However, the company not only provides services to local companies; they also partner with many of them for Amazon Prime and Prime Now orders. This arrangement provides a larger customer base.

How It Works

Amazon Flex follows the same block style scheduling as Deliv. However, their shift is four hours long. Drivers can sign up for shifts ahead of time or pick them up as they become available. While they don’t cover mileage, the company does offer a fixed payment amount for each timeslot. Even if you don’t make any deliveries, they still pay for the full block.

The layout, schedule, and route of a Flex driver’s shift are laid out in the app. However, the company only gives access to the platform after their initial three- or four-question screening prior to the application. At that time, they’ll provide applicants a URL to paste into their mobile web browser. Currently, this step is the only way to access the Amazon Flex app.


Driver Requirements

To drive for Amazon Flex, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Age: Must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Driving Experience: A current driver’s license that was issued more than 12 months ago.
  • Vehicle: Only accepts insured and licensed four-door models, but no age restrictions.
  • Background Check: Must pass a criminal and DMV background check.

The company also restricts the number of drivers allowed in an area. As a result, you can’t apply unless there is an opening.

Deliv vs. Amazon: What Are Their Parent-Friendly Attributes?

Now that you know what each service is all about, it’s time figure out how they differ. See below for a breakdown of the pros and cons of each delivery service. The categories are based on the unique needs of single parents.


Both Deliv and Amazon Flex offer the flexibility to make your own schedule. The one advantage that Deliv offers is its three-hour blocks. While one hour may not seem like a big difference, it easily affects a single parent’s opportunity to make money. Three-hour sessions are much easier to fit into an already busy schedule than the four-hour variations that Amazon Flex requires.

Winner: Deliv—but just barely

Driver Requirements

For parents, one of the biggest perks of delivery driving is the non-restrictive requirements. Uber and Lyft’s strict vehicle requirements are a hurdle for many individuals. It’s especially challenging for most single parents who don’t want to eat into their budgets by buying a newer vehicle. Deliv and Amazon Flex’s decisions to allow older model cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans ensure budget-minded drivers have an opportunity to earn extra cash.

While both options are driver-friendly, Deliv ends up with a slight lead in this category. This win is a result of their younger age criteria of 18 years old. Like Uber and Lyft, Amazon Flex only accepts drivers that are 21 years or older. However, they do get a point for only requiring one year of on-the-road experience.

Winner: Deliv

Earning Potential

Both delivery services advertise potential earning amounts for their drivers. While Deliv suggests drivers can earn up to $20 per hour, Amazon Flex claims their contractors can make $18 to $25 per hour. However, Deliv may be overshooting their estimate. According to Glassdoor, current and past Deliv drivers only make around $13 per hour on average. Amazon Flex drivers, on the other hand, have reported average earnings of $18.

Winner: Amazon Flex


Deliv drivers are able to request payouts once per week. However, the Deliv app is only designed to work with PayPal. This issue is likely to cause frustrations for some individuals. PayPal does offer instant transfers to debit card accounts, but the service costs an additional fee. The other option is to wait around 24 to 48 hours for the money to show up in your bank account.

Amazon Flex offers twice-weekly payouts directly to the driver’s bank account. Since parents are always facing unexpected expenses, like doctors visits and school activity fees, multiple payments throughout the week are ideal. Plus, you don’t have to wait for the additional transfer time from PayPal to your bank account. This arrangement gives Amazon Flex the upper hand.

Winner: Amazon Flex


Delivery drivers at both Amazon Flex and Deliv benefit from an around-the-clock support staff. Each platform offers its own in-app help center as well as email and phone support. For busy parents, the ability to call and speak with a real person instantly is the biggest advantage. As a result, both companies provide an equally excellent amount of driver support.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Driving Opportunity

Currently, both delivery services are limited by their small market size. Deliv has the fewest cities at 35, but they also don’t restrict the number of applicants they hire. As a result, parents don’t have to wait for an opening in their city. Amazon Flex, on the other hand, offers a wider service area, but there are only a limited number of positions at one time. The upside to this option is that drivers are likely to have more shift opportunities available.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Deliv vs. Amazon: Which Side Hustle Is Right for You?

The competition between Deliv and Amazon Flex is a tight one. Both options provide single parents the opportunity to earn extra cash.

Unlike rideshare and on-demand delivery services, like Lyft and Doordash, Amazon Flex and Deliv drivers are also guaranteed earnings for every shift they pick up. The biggest limiting factor for each is the small number of locations, but that’s sure to change as both businesses expand. Not sure if delivery is for you, consider signing up for Upwork or Rover instead.


Join Amazon Flex


Join Deliv


Amazon Flex Driver

Amazon Flex: Getting Started As A Driver

Amazon Flex is one of the newer additions to the gig economy, allowing private couriers to deliver Amazon packages, groceries, and any other of the millions of products you can now have brought to your doorstep within hours of ordering. Many individuals that earn money driving for Lyft and Uber have added food and package delivery to their hustle so that they can earn more money during their time on the road. Intrigued? Check out this quick guide to getting started with Amazon Flex so you can start dominating the delivery space.

Signing Up With Amazon Flex

Signing up with Amazon Flex is quick and easy—as long as there is a position open in your area. This will be the first question you are asked about in the process. Amazon lists all open areas on their site, so all you have to do is scroll through and find an area close to you to work in.

Amazon Flex Driver - City


If your area is not on the list, you can sign up to be on a waitlist, and Amazon will email you when a spot opens up. If your area is open, select it and you’ll be asked to provide:

  • Basic demographic info
  • Vehicle make, model, and year
  • Vehicle insurance info
  • Social security number/tax ID
  • Bank account info for direct deposit
  • Driver’s license info

You will also be asked to consent to a background check. The background check process takes a few days, so don’t expect to be making money with Amazon Flex immediately.

While you’re waiting for your clearance, take a look at the short training videos Amazon provides to ensure you’re ready to go when you’re approved. Pay attention closely, as there are quizzes at the end of each video.

Choosing Your Schedule

Driving for Amazon Flex is a bit different than driving for Uber or Lyft. You can’t just turn on your app and start driving any time you want. With Amazon Flex, you must pre-book your time by claiming shifts—or blocks, as Amazon calls them.

Amazon Flex Blocks


Each block is three to four hours and worth a set amount of money. Blocks are released for claiming 24 hours before they are set to begin. At that time, you can check for available blocks within the app. To claim a block, simply click on it and you’ll receive a confirmation message within the app. Amazon boasts that its drivers can make $18-25 per hour delivering packages to its customers.

What to Expect as an Amazon Flex Driver

Flex drivers can generally expect to pick up packages from an Amazon facility and drop them off to customers in their areas. When you get started, you choose a warehouse that you will pick up from.

Amid your deliveries, you also have the option to pick up “Instant Offers” that pop up in your area, allowing you to earn some extra cash. These could be from Amazon Prime, Amazon Fresh, or Amazon Restaurants.

Amazon Flex Instant Offers


The cool thing about Amazon Prime, Fresh, and Restaurants is that customers can tip you. Amazon takes none of your tips, so do a good job and you can dramatically increase your income with these Instant Offers.

Picking Up Orders with Amazon Flex

As mentioned before, you may have a variety of order types, which means you may have a variety of pickup locations. Let’s break them down now.

  • Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Restaurants—The location of your pickup will show on your app an hour before your block start time. The pickup spot may not be the actual establishment—you may be instructed to go to a waiting area before being given the pickup location.
    • Prime Now—There are Prime Now delivery stations throughout your working area. When you’ve arrived, you must swipe “I’ve Arrived” in your Flex app. You’ll be given your assigned route, and the app will let you know when your order is ready. You’ll then need to scan each of your assigned packages in the station before you head out.
    • Amazon Fresh—These orders begin at a Prime Now delivery station. Follow the same process as with the other orders. You’ll be instructed as to whether the customer needs to be present for delivery and if you need to verify age due to alcohol deliveries.
    • Amazon Restaurants—When picking up from a restaurant, you’ll want to have an insulated bag to keep food warm. You can either purchase your own bag or hope that there’s a loaner bag available at the delivery station. Like the other pickup types, when you arrive at the location, tap “I’ve Arrived” in the app and it will tell you where to go.
  • Store Orders—Some Prime Now orders require you go to an actual store to pick up the item(s). When you’ve arrived at your start location, tap the “I’ve Arrived” button on the app and it will tell you where to go to pick up the order.
  • Orders—These will begin at a delivery station, which will appear on your app an hour before you start your block. In most cases, you’ll be met by an Amazon employee who will verify your ID and ask you to scan an arrival code.

As with all of these orders, the app will provide you with suggested routes for delivery. Note, these may not be the best routes, so use your judgment and local knowledge to find the best routes in order to maximize your time and your income.

7 Tips to Really Make Money with Amazon Flex

While Amazon says its drivers make between $18-25, the reality is, the range is much wider. Keep in mind that this number is before taxes and expenses. So, when you take into account fuel, oil changes, and other maintenance costs, these numbers can be a lot lower. If you want to truly make money as an Amazon Flex driver, follow these best practices:

  1. Log every mile you drive—Whether you keep a paper notebook in your car, or use an app, keeping track of your miles will enable you to take every deduction you deserve as an independent contractor.
  2. Keep track of car maintenance—Save your receipts each time you fuel up or change your oil, brakes, transmission fluid, lights, windshield wipers, etc. These expenses may be deductible at tax time.
  3. Organize your vehicle—When you receive your packages, they will have a manifest attached, which allows you to cluster your deliveries. Keep your packages organized in this way, with the closest deliveries in the front seat, then move the next round from the backseat to the front and so forth. Being able to hop out of your car with the right packages keeps you efficient.
  4. Use a bigger vehicle—If you have access to a larger vehicle like an SUV, you have the ability to take on more packages for your delivery area. As your deliveries are generally concentrated in a given area, mileage is not as crucial as it is with passenger delivery services, so the reduced mileage efficiency isn’t as much of an issue.
  5. Avoid returning packages undelivered—When you can’t deliver a package, you have to drive it back to the station, which takes time. Do everything you can to prevent package theft by leaving deliveries in a more secure location. Don’t forget to take a picture of the delivery location.
  6. Dress for money—When it comes to making extra tips, it’s all in the presentation. Wear clean, well-fitting clothes. Brush your hair. Think about who you would want walking up to your door and handing you your burrito, electric razor, or organic produce.
  7. Know your area—Even if you don’t live in the area to which you’re delivering packages, the best thing you can do to increase your efficiency is to know the area inside and out. This includes times of increased congestion, construction areas, and insider shortcuts. While the Flex app does its best to provide you with the most efficient route to your deliveries, it may fail to take into account local issues.

Get Ready to Ride

Amazon Flex has the capability to greatly increase your income, particularly as a part-time side-gig. The key is efficiency, so use the tips in this guide to get you started with Amazon Flex.