Dominos rad power e-bike

Domino’s Pizza Announces New Delivery Program, Waymo Headed to FL for Extreme Weather Testing and Much More

This Week in Mobility ― August 23, 2019

This past week, a new Oregon carsharing project in Hood River won a large federal grant, Waymo announces a new testing program in Florida, and Domino’s announces a new plan to compete with the likes of UberEats and Postmates.

Oregon Carsharing Project Gets $548K Federal Grant

Though car sharing services are common in big cities, the electric vehicle advocates at Forth are trying to change that.

The Department of Energy awarded a $548,540 grant to the Portland, Oregon, group (formerly called Drive Oregon) to help them place five plug-in vehicles in rural communities.

American Honda has loaned the group five Clarity electric vehicles. The EVs will be stationed at one of five charging stations in Hood River, Oregon. Customers can rent the cars through Envoy Technologies.

This is definitely a step in the right direction, but a lot of challenges lie ahead for the program. Customers have to get to the vehicles in order to use them, which can be challenging. Also, there’s a lack of reliable internet service in many rural areas, which makes using the necessary platform to rent a car nearly impossible.

But these challenges can be overcome. It’s exciting to see electric cars start to make their way into rural communities, where they are desperately needed.

DoorDash Takes a Play Straight Out of UberEats’ Playbook

Less than a month after UberEats announced a partnership with the Olo Rails restaurant software, DoorDash came out with a similar announcement.

Revention, a restaurant software maker, announced last week it’s partnering with DoorDash for delivery services.

According to a press release on Yahoo! Finance, the partnership allows restaurants to use DoorDash for delivery and “streamlining existing delivery operations to accommodate for peak times, unexpected surge of orders, downtime, and service outside of standard areas”

While these partnerships have obvious benefits for both the delivery service and the software makers, small, locally-owned restaurants benefit as well.

Small restaurants that invest in tech platforms like Revention and Olo can compete with franchises and corporate-owned restaurants by offering delivery services.

Waymo to Test AVs in Florida During Heavy Rain

Now that driverless cars are allowed to operate in Florida without a safety driver, Waymo is taking advantage of the new regulation.

Even though Florida is sunny most of the year, June 1 through November 30 is hurricane season. Heavy rain is typical during this time of year, even if the state isn’t directly hit with a hurricane.

That’s why Waymo is headed to the Sunshine State during the soggiest season of the year. The company is going to test its autonomous vehicles at a track in Naples, Florida, during rainstorms to see how well the cameras and sensors hold up.

This isn’t the first time Waymo has used extreme weather to its advantage. The AV vehicle maker began testing their vehicles during extreme winter weather in Michigan back in 2017.

As AV manufacturers look to create cars that hold up under any and all weather conditions, expect to see more than just Waymo headed to Florida to battle-test their prototypes.

Nigerian Logistics Startup Kobo360 Raises $30M

According to TechCrunch, Kobo360 recently raised a combined $30 million in a Series A funding round and working capital from various Nigerian banks.

Kubo360 matches companies, truckers and delivery services on an app that works similar to Uber. The logistics startup began in 2017 and has an impressive client roster that includes Unilever, DHL, and Honeywell.

The Series A round was led by Goldman Sachs and totaled $20 million, while the working capital from Nigerian banks totaled $10 million.

We’ve reported before on how companies like TuSimple and Phantom Auto are tackling big problems in the logistics industry. As startups like Kobo360 begin to receive more resources to streamline delivery services, what began as Uber is now solving problems the company never thought to tackle.

Dominos Will Start Testing Ebike Delivery Service in Select Cities This Year

In an effort to compete with delivery services like DoorDash and UberEats, Domino’s announced a new ebike pizza delivery program.

Rad Power Bikes has teamed up with Domino’s to provide the pedal power for pizza deliveries.

According to Domino’s, the innovative pizza delivery service will begin rolling out the new delivery program in its corporate stores later this year. Instead of a full-scale deployment, Domino’s will start with its Baltimore, Houston, Miami, and Salt Lake City locations.

Rad Power Bikes Commercial Division will be handling the partnership. According to the company’s blog, Rad’s B2B sales increased 600 percent between 2017 and 2018.

Will Domino’s be able to bring up its bottom line? Probably so. The pizza king has continually been at the forefront of innovation in the restaurant industry. If you’re craving some cheesy goodness, you can order Domino’s Pizza on Twitter, Slack, and even Alexa. With innovation like that, they’ll continue to thrive.


doordash side hustle

5 Reasons To Explore A Side Hustle Even if You Don’t Need the Money

Side hustles are everywhere these days. From ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to home rental agencies like AirBnB, there are more ways for individuals to use their skills and make some extra money.

You might think that the need for extra income is the only reason to take on a side hustle, but that is not necessarily the case. Even if you are flush with cash and do not need the extra money, taking on a side hustle could be good for you and your family. Here are five reasons to take on a side hustle even if you do not need the cash.

#1. You Will Meet New People

Whether you are bold and outgoing or shy and reserved, meeting new people can be a lot of fun. When you take on a side hustle, you can meet those fascinating people every day, either in real life or online.

It is not always easy to meet new people, but a side hustle forces you to get out and about. Before you know it, you will be meeting people from all walks of life, all while earning some extra cash.

#2. You Will Learn New Things

You do not have to spend money on a college class to learn new skills. Simply taking on a side hustle will help you learn new things, all while making some money on the side.

There are all kinds of side hustles these days, and they utilize a wide variety of skills and experiences. No matter what your background or education, you can find a side hustle that uses your current skill set while giving you the opportunity to learn even more.

#3. It is a Great Way to Fight Boredom

Part-time jobs have long been popular among retirees, and not just for the extra income they provide. Even retirees who did not need to supplement their Social Security income often worked part-time at grocery stores, gas stations and other local businesses.

The same desire for connection is driving a new generation of semi-retired gig workers. Taking on a side hustle is the perfect way to fight the boredom that sometimes comes with retirement. If you are newly retired and feeling a bit bored or overwhelmed, exploring a side hustle may be just what you need.

#4. You Can Diversify Your Income Stream

Even if you do not need the extra income now, you never know what the future will hold. Even financially secure men and women can benefit from some diversification, and a side hustle is a great way to diversify your streams of income.

With a side hustle, you can expand your earnings horizon, so you do not have to rely solely on your full-time job or retirement income. This diversification of income is valuable no matter how financially secure you feel.

#5. You Will Be Part of the Future

The job market has been slowly moving toward the so-called gig economy. Businesses that used to rely on thousands of full-time and part-time workers are now building armies of freelancers and consultants, and that trend is likely to accelerate in the coming years.

When you work at a side hustle, you will have a front row seat for the future. Instead of reading about the future of work, you will be directly participating in the new way of work.

The most obvious reason to take on a side hustle is for the money, but the need for extra cash is not the only motivation for gig workers, rideshare drivers, consultants and others. Even if you do not need the money, there is a lot to gain by embarking on a side hustle. So do yourself a favor, embrace the future and explore this new form of work.


gig economy doordash

5 Tips To Succeed As A Freelance Worker In The Gig Economy

More and more people around the world are now working temporary and short-term contracts. This is the gig economy. Whether it’s through one of the major freelance platforms, such as Fiverr and Upwork, by marketing yourself and cold-calling clients the old fashioned way, or driving for Doordash or Uber, it’s undeniable that the trend toward the gig economy is showing no sign of slowing.

It’s predicted that by 2020, 40 percent of Americans will be working as independent contractors. It’s also important to note that internet access around the world has risen sharply in the past decade. This is allowing an unprecedented degree of access to labour from around the world.

If an economy can be explained through supply and demand, the gig economy’s supply can exceed entire national populations because nearly anyone can participate.

If you find it hard to compete for jobs where you live, your challenges become much more complicated when competing with the world. This doesn’t make it impossible; it just means that you will need to understand very well where you can provide value and how you can satisfy someone’s need for that value.

How can you set yourself apart from the pack?

1. Provide consistent levels of quality.

This applies whether you’re a complete novice or seasoned expert in your niche. Providing high-quality content adds value to your clients and builds a good reputation.

Take writing for example. Poorly written content, or even worse, “scraped” or plagiarized content can result in SEO punishment for the client if they’re trying to get their blog or website on the first page of search engine results. Proverbs 10:4 says that “the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” Good quality work done diligently can result in your ability to command higher prices than competitors.

2. Diversify your sources of work.

Platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork can be excellent for connecting freelancers with clients, but both come at a cost. 20 percent of your earnings will be lost in exchange for your ability to use these platforms.

While it may be worth it when starting out to accept this 20 percent hit, you’ll eventually want to look for clients on your own and negotiate for fair rates.

Connecting to potential clients in your niche requires drive and persistence, but eventually, you can begin to build up your network and get noticed outside of these platforms.

3. Build a portfolio.

Related to the previous point, you’ll want to assemble a portfolio exhibiting your proficiency in your niche.

Whether it’s video editing, translation, programming, or anything else you excel at, be sure to have some examples of your work ready to show potential clients. This will let them know that you’re serious, organised, and capable of getting the job done.

Websites such as, or better yet, your own blog or website can be a good foundation to introduce clients to your portfolio. Be sure to include a good photo, a little blurb about yourself, and a catalogue of some of your best work. New freelancers should consider building a portfolio as they go along with their work. Don’t be afraid when starting out to ask clients if they’d mind if you can use your work for them in your portfolio.

4. Set fair prices.

One mistake a lot of budding freelancers make is that they set their prices extremely low for exposure. This is a debatable topic, whereby some will claim that it’s recommended in the beginning whilst others will maintain that you should not sell yourself short. This will be one of the first things that you should consider, because if you set too low a price initially, you may find it harder to justify raising them later. On the other hand, if you start out with high prices for your labour, you may find it hard in the beginning to win contracts. This is up to you.

5. Know your competition.

Online, you’ll be competing very often with people from all around the world where wages may be far higher or lower than where you live. Be prepared to be underbid for prices that are already far below minimum wage (if there is one) in your country.

It’s not uncommon for clients to request native English speakers for writing or editing, yet offer rates that are abysmally low. “Good work doesn’t come cheap and cheap work doesn’t come good.” It may take some time, but if you are persistent and set your work at a fair price, the market will decide what you’re worth and you can re-evaluate from there.

As the gig economy continues to grow, you’ll surely find that there’s more competition but also a greater demand. It can be argued that there will always be a demand for good quality work in any niche. Look at your competition as a way to benchmark your own skills and talents. Most importantly, learn how to be adaptable and always look to get better at what you do. Hopefully, these tips can set you on the track to success.


GM Chevy Bolt

Lyft Goes Divvy, Doordash Takes The Lead, And Self Driving Car Heads To Museum

This Week in On Demand― March 14, 2019

From Lyft bikes to Doordash, the new champ of food delivery, here’s the latest happenings from the gig economy this week.

Lyft To Invest $50 Million in Chicago Bike Sharing Program

A proposed contract from Chicago bike-sharing program Divvy will bring $50 million in investment from Lyft to the city over nine years.

Lyft took over the city’s bike-sharing program last year after purchasing Motivate International, a company that managed government sharing programs in cities like Boston, Chicago, and New York.

The proposal would add 175 stations and 10,500 bikes, bringing the total to 800 stations and 16,500 bikes. It also would require Lyft to pay the city $6 million annually, with a four percent increase each year. The city would also share in $1.5 million generated from advertisements or sponsorships. This money is in addition to the $50 million investment. All city money would go back into transportation.

Tighter Regulations on Ride Sharing in New York Help Smaller Operators

New regulations in New York City have created losses for major players like Uber and Lyft, but smaller operators are starting to see an increase in business.

A rise in the minimum wage for app-based drivers caused both Uber and Lyft to increase prices. In addition, the city added a surcharge for $2.75 for every ride-hailing trip below 96th street in Manhattan.

According to Lyft, these fare hikes and surcharges have reduced the number of ride requests in the area. However, ridepool service Via, the smallest app-based service in the area, have reported an increase in business.

The Manhattan-based company uses vans to shuttle passengers in a ride-pooling service. Via was able to keep fares the same, and riders only have to pay a surcharge of $0.75.

Autonomous Vehicle Heads to Henry Ford Museum

Even though autonomous cars are not yet mainstream, one is headed to the Henry Ford Museum. GM announced its first autonomous car is making its way to the museum to be displayed in the very front, alongside a 1959 Cadillac.

The preproduction Chevy Bolt EV rolled off a Michigan assembly line in March 2016. It racked up over 12,000 miles of autonomous driving in San Francisco and other cities.

DoorDash Grabs Number One Spot in Food Delivery Market

Fortune magazine announced Monday that DoorDash nosed ahead of GrubHub to take the number one position in the on-demand food delivery market.

In March 2018, DoorDash was barely in the running for the top three services, taking about 15% market share, while GrubHub had almost 40% and Uber Eats was squarely in the middle of the two.

Over the last year, GrubHub’s market share steadily decreased, DoorDash continued to improve, and Uber Eats stayed relatively stable.

Current numbers are almost neck and neck, with DoorDash owning 27.6% of the market, GrubHub at 26.7%, and Uber Eats at 25.2%.

It’s unclear what caused the decline at GrubHub, but with so many new players entering the market, customers have more choices than in the past.

Dallas Transit Hires Uber to Give Free & Discount Rides

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is offering free and discounted rides to some customers via Uber’s ride-pool service UberPool.

The program provides options for those who live in areas with limited transportation options. Rides are subsidized by DART and serve six zones in the area including Legacy West in Plano and the Inland Port in South Dallas.

That’s the news for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s roundup to see the latest innovations in the on-demand industry.

Image Credit: Steve Fecht for General Motors


Clutter Storage venture funding

Some Lyft & Uber Drivers To Get IPO Stock, And Doordash Stays Private

This Week In On Demand — March 1, 2019

The gig economy never sleeps, but fortunately, we’ve kept track of all the top headlines so that you don’t have to. From IPOs to storage wars, here’s what you missed this week.

DoorDash Announces $400 Million Funding Round

Late last week, news hit that DoorDash has raised another $400 million. The Series F funding round consisted of eight investors, which was led by Temasek Holdings and Dragoneer Investment Group. Now, the company has reached total funding of $1.4 billion, bringing its valuation to $7.1 billion.

The latest investment round appears to be a direct response to Postmates IPO filing last month. While DoorDash didn’t quite reach their reported $500 million goal, the resulting valuation boost still puts the company on firm ground. They’ll need the massive war chest they’ve amassed as it seems the company is forgoing going public anytime in the near future.

Clutter Snags $200 Million Investment

There’s an on demand service for just about every industry now, so it shouldn’t be surprising that storage services are joining that list. Clutter is an on demand storage, packing, and moving service that hopes to make both long- and short-term storage, along with moving, more affordable. Last Wednesday the startup announced it raised $200 million in its Series D round.

Led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the funding included six investors and brought the company’s total funding amount to just over $296 million. The platform is currently only available in a handful of cities, including New York and Chicago, but the latest funding will power their goals for expansion.

Lyft Prepares for April IPO & Launches Discount Ride Feature

Since New Year’s Day, the ridesharing industry has been waiting in anticipation for Lyft and Uber’s market launch. Finally, Lyft has made a move. Reportedly, the company is planning to start its pre-market roadshow on March 18 and officially enter the market at the beginning of April.

Lyft has yet to verify the details, but the rideshare business has chosen to list on the Nasdaq. Currently, the company is expecting an IPO value of anywhere from $20 billion to $25 billion. In comparison, Uber expects a $120 billion valuation. However, the latter hasn’t yet released any new dates or information regarding their IPO.

In preparation for the market entrance, Lyft is also attempting to entice riders from other platforms and build customer loyalty. Last Thursday, the company launched a brand new discount ride feature called Shared Saver. The service offers reduced rates for a carpool-style ride in which passengers meet at designated pickup locations nearby, which is designed to compete with Uber’s Express Pool offering.

Uber and Lyft Planning to Reward Drivers With IPO Access

While we’re on the topic of IPOs, Lyft and Uber’s battle to the public market may not just line the pockets of traditional employees. On Thursday, news broke that both companies are planning to help some of their drivers to buy shares at the initial market cost. This is a significant move considering Lyft and Uber drivers are classified as freelance contractors and not full-time employees.

The two rideshare companies are reportedly taking similar approaches to the process with a few notable differences. Both business’ are planning to give cash bonuses to selected drivers, which can be used for purchasing stocks. For Uber, eligibility requirements aren’t set in stone yet with approved drivers offering either a high trip number or a significant time working with the company. Lyft, on the other hand, is planning to reward drivers based on overall ride totals beginning with $1,000 for 10,000 trips and $10,000 for 20,000 rides.

Uber Celebrates London Court Win

Uber hasn’t had the most successful 2019. After reporting Q4 losses and filing a lawsuit against New York City, the rideshare company is in need of some good news, and now, they’ve got it. First up, the United Cabbies Group in London lost their latest lawsuit claiming that the Uber’s permit approval was issued by a magistrate with financial ties to the company. However, since the case was dismissed, Uber gets to keep their 15-month operational permit in the city.

Lime Welcomes CFO

In other e-bike news, Lime is welcoming a new c-suite member. Ted Tobiason will take the role as the company’s first chief financial officer. Previously, Tobiason served as a managing director at Morgan Stanley. He is joined by fellow new team members CTO Li Fan and CMO Duke Stump — both of which were hired a few weeks ago.

The move culminates a successful month for Lime. Along with c-suite expansions, the company announced a $310 million Series D round, which brought their valuation to $2.4 billion. The company did hit a roadblock in San Francisco, but there’s a high probability they’ll gain access to the city’s e-scooter pilot program in the spring. As of now, it appears the company is making big moves in preparation for IPO.

That covers it for this week’s on demand news wrapup. Don’t forget to check back next week to ensure you’re always up-to-date on the latest gig economy headlines.


Side Hustle Survey - Gig Economy

Engaging With The Gig Economy – Gig Worker & Side Hustle Survey Results

Side hustles and the gig economy are booming.

Services like Lyft and Doordash have gained more popularity in recent years than anyone could have predicted, as immediate access has become the rule rather than the exception. Amidst changing customer expectations and a renaissance of mobile technologies, the need for on-demand services is disrupting industries across the board. It’s also created a wealth of new job opportunities.

There are currently more than 200 apps and services through which a person can find a freelance gig or side hustle.

In today’s job landscape, we’re seeing a growing number of men and women who do freelance work either on the side or as their primary source of income. While driving Lyft or Uber is a big part of that, it’s not the whole picture.  And we felt it was high time to learn a bit more about the state of the gig economy overall.

That’s why we recently carried out a survey to explore the relationship our audience has with the gig economy – why they do it, what services they provide, and so on.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of our results and what they mean.

Gig Jobs And Side Hustles Are Replacing Full-Time Work

Gigs or side hustles are the primary source of income for 58.9% of respondents.

But, 56.2% of respondents treat their gig as a full-time job rather than a side hustle.

The majority of our respondents worked for either Lyft (60%) or Uber (67.7%). We found this unsurprising, given the high demand for rideshare workers vs. other gig economy jobs.

Other side hustles and gigs represented in the survey included DoorDash (23.1%), Postmates (10.8%), (3.1%), Etsy (4.6%), and Instacart (7.7%).


People Have Embraced Their Side Hustles With Passion

The majority of respondents typically choose gigs involving driving, at 74%. Again, that likely says more about the overall demand for rideshare drivers, than freelancing as a whole. Other gigs included moving, shopping, delivery, petcare, childcare, and crafts.

More interesting is the fact that more than 75% of respondents did gig work three days a week, with only 34.7% putting in 6-7 days.

54.8% of respondents perform more than ten gigs a week, and 75% of respondents only decline 1-3 gigs.

There are many factors that might result in someone declining a gig, but chief among them are pay and travel time. 32.4% of gig workers tend to decline tasks for which they feel the pay is too low, while 31.1% decline them if they have to travel too far. The magic number here seems to be 30 minutes, as 61.1% of respondents indicated that they don’t typically have to travel more than that for a gig.

Freedom And Flexibility Top The List Of Reasons To Love The Gig Economy

As for why people have such love for the gig economy? It really all comes down to time. The appeal of a side hustle is pretty clear for anyone to see – it allows you to make your own schedule, guaranteeing you can work how, where, and when you want.

Being your own boss and setting your own hours also means every day is a little different. You’ll rarely work the same job twice, and particularly if you’re a ridesharing driver, you’ve the opportunity to meet and interact with a wealth of people. That sort of atmosphere might not be for everyone, but amidst those who’ve embraced their side hustle, it seems to be just what they need to thrive.

Of course, a gig is just like any other job, at the end of the day. It has highs and lows. Ups and downs. Some days, even gig workers have trouble getting themselves out of bed.

Rude customers and clients are by far the most common complaint.

That’s not a big surprise, in hindsight. No one likes being disrespected, after all. It’s fortunate, then, that most gigs provide both customers and drivers with a means of reporting rudeness and disrespect.

Rude clients are not the only issue, either.

Many of our respondents lamented the low pay, indicating the difficulty of finding that “sweet spot” that would allow them to maximize their income.

The lack of an hourly wage coupled with time-consuming trips and jobs were other common complaints, as was the relative lack of stability – like it or not, having a gig as your only source of income can be stressful, as your pay’s not always guaranteed.

Perhaps one of the most interesting complaints was about gig workers themselves. Many people who discuss the gig economy online hate customers and want to be paid for doing the bare minimum, according to one respondent. In hindsight, that’s not entirely surprising either.

The ability to be one’s own boss is incredible and attracts tons of driven, energetic, passionate men and women.

Unfortunately, it also attracts plenty of people who are really just stoked they don’t have someone looking over their shoulder to ensure they work hard. The good news is that, in our experience, the latter camp doesn’t tend to last that long.

Key Survey Takeaways

  • Gigs & Side Hustles are the main sources of income for over 40% of responders.
  • Cars are key: Driving and Delivery make up an overwhelming majority of services rendered.
  • Half-hour rule: Over 60% of responders do not travel more than 30 minutes for a gig/service job.
  • More than part-time: Only 25% of responders work side-gigs 1-2 days a week, with almost 35% performing side-hustles 6-7 days a week.

Side Hustle On

Some interesting results, right? It seems many gigs aren’t always side-hustles anymore. More and more people are diving into the gig economy full-time, and for the most part, they’re enjoying it.

Our final conclusion is this: whether you’re looking for a side-hustle or a full-time deal, there’s never been a better time to get involved in the gig economy. As this survey shows, you’ll be joining a group of passionate, dedicated men and women for whom freedom, flexibility, and excellence go hand-in-hand.


Alto Rideshare

Alto Rides Into Dallas, Uber Takes Flight, And Amazon’s Last Mile

This Week In On Demand — Jan. 26, 2019

The rideshare and bike-share industries stole the headlines this week in on demand with new announcements, launches, and team expansions. So, sit back, relax, and get up-to-date on the latest gig economy happenings with this week’s news rundown.

Alto Looks to Shake Up the Rideshare Industry

The on demand rideshare industry has long been dominated by Uber and Lyft. Now, a new Dallas-based startup is entering the sphere. Alto rounded out its two-part Series A round with investments totaling $14.5 million. The funding was led by Road Ventures with frogVentures contributing.

Alto went live over the holidays. Using a subscription-based business model, only members that join the platform are allowed to request rides. While the service is currently limited to the Dallas Metro area, the company plans to open their Series B funding round in the spring to assist with their expansion goals.

Competing with established brands, like Uber and Lyft, has proven a tough job for many companies. However, Alto hopes to stand out from its competitors with its focus on safety for both drivers and passengers. The company’s drivers are employees instead of contractors, and each undergoes in-depth vetting and training. Also owns and maintains the vehicles, which are newer SUV’s. Additionally, passengers are able to control their ride experience directly through the app by negating cabin temperature and choosing music.

Uber Rolls Out Loyalty Program & Partners With Boeing for Air Taxi Service

This week, rideshare customers in certain cities began reaping the benefits of their Uber-brand loyalty. The Uber Rewards program officially launched in 25 markets on Tuesday, providing discounts and perks for frequent riders.

Uber first announced the program back in November, merely days after Lyft introduced the concept for theirs. However, Lyft Rewards still hasn’t made an appearance, and the company hasn’t yet released any information regarding the program’s launch date.

Soon, Uber Rewards may become available to frequent flyers as well. The rideshare company is partnering with Boeing and Bell to create an on demand flying taxi service known as Uber Air. On Wednesday, news broke that the program’s prototype aircraft made its first successful flight. The test took place in Virginia, and according to Boeing’s chief technology officer, the monumental moment came after a year’s worth of design and engineering work.


DoorDash Announces New Vice President of Engineering

After celebrating a market expansion into all 50 states last week, DoorDash is focused on team expansions this week. On Wednesday, the food delivery company announced the addition of Ryan Sokol as vice president of engineering. Previously, Sokol was heavily involved in the launch and growth of Uber Eats.

Sokol isn’t the only Uber employee to jump ship for DoorDash. In July of last year, the company hired Prabir Adarkar as chief financial officer. Prior to his hire, Adarkar worked as the head of finance for Uber.

Wag Founders Turn Their Attention to Bike-Sharing While Mobike Undergoes Name Change

New e-bike startup, Wheels, announced a $37 million funding round this week headed by Tenaya Capital. The company was founded by Jonathan and Joshua Viner, who also founded the dog-walking company Wag. After leaving Wag, the two brothers started Wheels last year using their own capital.

Wheels hopes to enter markets in Southern California soon, followed by a wider expansion across the U.S. While the current bike-sharing market is fairly saturated, the company hopes to enter as a strong competitor thanks to its interchangeable design and sustainability focus.

While Wheels looks to take on the U.S. market, a top player in the Chinese market will soon sport a new name. Mobike is being rebranded as Meituan Bike. The change following the company’s acquisition by Meituan-Dianping last year. The official name change is expected to take place sometime this year.

Amazon Launches Robot-Delivery Pilot

On Wednesday, Amazon announced its new robotic pilot for last-mile deliveries. The program relies on a small robot dubbed Scout, which was developed by the company’s in-house robotics team. The system features a small container used to hold packages and is powered by a rechargeable electric battery and six wheels. Currently, six Scouts are making deliveries in Snohomish County, WA.

Amazon Scout Robot Delivery


How the move will affect the role of Amazon Flex drivers is unknown. While the company hasn’t commented on the future of last-mile drivers, robotic assistance may eliminate the need for freelance delivery contractors altogether. It also raises questions regarding the need for traditional delivery paths, like UPS and FedEx.

That’s a wrap on this weeks on demand news. Check back next Friday to catch up on the biggest headlines of the week.


Grab Digital Insurance

Grab Insurance, Doordash Manifest Destiny, Airbnb Still Profitable

This Week In On Demand — Jan 18, 2019

Even in the midst of a federal government shutdown, the gig economy is making moves. Here’s what you missed this week in on demand.

Tyto Care Lands New Investors

Traditionally, healthcare isn’t an industry associated with the on demand sector, but telehealth startup Tyto Care is looking to the change that. The company, which helps doctors perform remote exams, announced a Series C funding addition of $9 million, which pushes the round to $33.5 million in total. The latest funding is attributed to three strategic investors: Itochu, Sanford Health, and Shenzhen Capital Group.


While the series was initially led by Ping An Global Voyer Fund out of China, Tyto’s newest partnerships come as the on demand healthcare service looks to expand its operations. The company hopes to broaden its coverage in the U.S. and launch services in China and Japan. According to the CEO, Tyto’s game plan is to initially focus on rural and underserved areas.

Airbnb Showcases Second Year of Profitability Ahead of IPO

While some on demand companies struggled, Airbnb is celebrating a successful 2018. The peer-to-peer home sharing service announced EBITDA profits for the second year in a row. According to the company, Q3 was their most profitable yet, boasting over $1 billion in revenue.

Such success in 2018 is good news ahead of Airbnb’s impending IPO. Reportedly, the home-sharing company is expected to hit the market as early as June, but the debut could leave us waiting until 2020. Along with revenue growth, the business is building a market-ready team with the additional CFO Dave Stephensen, who previously worked at Amazon.

Getaround Faces $1.79 Million Lawsuit

In other news, Getaround was hit by a lawsuit by a former investor, Geoffrey Smigelsky. The lawsuit alleges Getaround executives misled the plaintiff on the value of his shares, resulting in a large financial loss. Smigelsky ended up selling 300,000 shares back to the company at $1.80 each, but claims they were actually worth $7.75 as a result of an undisclosed funding round announced soon after.

Getaround, however, denies the claim and is expecting a case dismissal. According to the Director of Marking Communications, Jaqueline Tanzella, the company wasn’t able to divulge any information regarding the impending investment totals at the time because it wasn’t finalized. Tanzella went on to say that the situation is “unfortunate,” but the Getaround team was not at fault.

Outdoorsy Announces $50 Million Funding Round

The on demand RV rental service Outdoorsy announced a $50 million Series C round on Tuesday. Led by Greenspring Associates, the funding brings the business’ investment totals to $81.5 million. The announcement comes ahead of the company’s plan to launch new premium service offerings on the platform.

Essentially combining the principles of Airbnb and Uber, Outdoorsy provides on demand mobile living rentals. The company connects owners of RVs, camper trucks, and sleepable vans with interested renters through the app, and when matches are made, the startup takes a portion of the transaction. Currently, the company is operating in multiple markets across the globe, including North America, Europe, and Australia.


DoorDash Reaches All 50 States

This week, DoorDash announced a 50-state landmark with a service expansion in six states. The monumental moment for the food delivery company comes after entering eight new markets on Wednesday. The service is now available in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South, Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming, bringing their coverage to all of the United States.

The expansion news continues DoorDash’s run of success over the past 12 months. Last March, the on demand startup raised $535 million led by SoftBank in Series D, followed by another $250 million Series E funding round in August. That last investment round ended up boosting their valuation to $4 billion from $1.4 billion.

Rideshare Firm Grab Sets Its Sights On Digital Insurance

Recently, Grab, the Singapore based rideshare company that beat Uber in Southeast Asia, has been in the midst of $5 billion fundraising round while facing competition from Go-Jek on their home turf.

This week, they’re making more headlines after announcing a move into digital insurance. The company is partnering up with ZhongAn out of China to offer insurance plans through its app.

Along with ZhongAn, Grab is also working with Chubb to provide insurance services in Singapore. They two businesses already partner up for micro-loan services, but that offering caters solely to Grab’s rideshare driver network. Their newest venture was announced exactly a day after Singapore Life, a top a digital insurance provider in the region, announced a $33 million funding round.

That’s a wrap on this week’s news roundup. Check back next week for an up-to-date rundown on the latest gig economy happenings.