Gig Economy Worker

Uber Boats, Lime Ripens, And Jump Leaves Its Heart In SF

This Week In On Demand — Feb. 8, 2019

From scooters to eco-friendly rideshare, the gig economy’s biggest players came out to play this week in on demand. Here’s what you missed.

Lime Announces $310 Million Funding Round and Team Expansion

On Wednesday, Lime announced a successful Series D round. Led by Bain Capital, the on demand scooter company raised $310 million, bringing their total to $855 million. Earlier in the week, the startup also welcomed two new team members to their c-suite — Duke Stump as CMO and Li Fan as CTO. Previously, Stump worked as EVP of Brand and Community at Lululemon, and Fan served as Lime’s head of engineering.

With the latest announcements, Lime is starting out 2019 in a much better position than it ended 2018. The company faced various struggles over the last year, including scooter recalls and a connection to a controversial PR firm. Despite the setbacks, their Series D round showcases there’s still an incredible amount of interest in the e-scooter company.

Jump Faces Another Setback In San Francisco

While Lime moves forward, one of their biggest competitors remains stuck in place. On Tuesday, Jump’s appeal to enter the San Francisco market was denied. Currently, the city’s Municipal Transporation Agency (SFMTA) has full control over which e-scooter companies are allowed to operate in the community through their recently enacted pilot program. They also restrict the number of scooters on the streets.

After the agency rejected Jump’s permit request last year, the Uber-owned business filed an official appeal. The company claims their rejection is a result of the past grievances between Uber’s ridesharing service and the city. However, the SFMTA disputes that claim. Now, Jump is hoping to be added to the pilot program’s expected expansion in the spring.

Uber Expands Pro Program, Combats Mumbai’s Traffic Problem, and Sets Sights On Middle East Market

Late last week, Uber announced its driver recognition program is expanding to two more cities. Uber Pro is now available in Washington, D.C. and Boston, bringing the total to 10 markets. Seasoned drivers with Gold, Diamond, and Platinum statuses that reside in those areas are eligible to take advantage of the program’s many perks, including tuition coverage.

While U.S. Uber drivers enjoy well-earned recognition, commuters in Mumbai now have an option to avoid the area’s infamous traffic backups. The ridesharing company has officially launched Uber Boat in the city. This on demand transportation option allows passengers to book seats on speedboats or charter a full watercraft to bypass the congested roadways.

Without a doubt, Uber is an international player in the ride-hailing industry, but in some regions, like Southeast Asia, the company has allowed competitors to buy them out. Now, the business is using the exact opposite strategy in the Middle East. Reportedly, Uber is in talks to buy industry rival Careem. The potential acquisition move matches up with their decision to focus on expansion in regional markets, like Saudi Arabia, ahead of their impending IPO.

Turvo Snags Uber Freight Co-Founders

Uber Freight, the ridesharing company’s trucking segment, has lost two of its first employees to Turvo. The cloud-based SaaS business specializes in real-time logistics for shipping and freight companies. Charlie Bergevin joins Turvo as the enterprise partnerships executive while Brian Cristol serves as the head of enterprise partnerships. Another Uber Freight team member, Bin Change, is also heading to Turvo.

While Bergevin and Cristol were the original driving forces behind Uber Freight, the on demand hauling service isn’t likely to be affected considering its substantial growth in the last year. The platform expanded its offerings in October to include Powerloop — a trailer rental service.

Lyft Goes Green

Uber has been consistently present in on demand news roundups in 2019, but Lyft has mostly laid low in the new year. Now, the rideshare company is making waves once again with the announcement of its new Green Mode option. The latest service launch allows Lyft customers to request rides in electric vehicles.

Right now, Green Mode is only available to riders in Seattle, but the company has plans for expansion, with a noticeable focus on its California markets. To increase passenger options, Lyft is providing free charging to drivers that rent Chevrolet Bolt EVs. The incentive is available to Lyft fleet members through the company’s Express Drive program.

Instacart Hit With Wage-Based Lawsuit

As the ridesharing industry moves to more sustainable practices, a top player in the on demand delivery sector is facing more legal hurdles. On Tuesday, Instacart was hit with a class-action lawsuit regarding its wage practices. The company advertises a minimal earning of $10 per hour for its independent contractors, which are known as Shoppers. However, the lawsuit is claiming the company misrepresented the figure by using tips to reduce contractors’ actual wage earnings.

While Instacart has yet to release a public response, this isn’t the delivery service’s first legal wage issue. The company settled a 2017 lawsuit after questions arose regarding the accuracy of their Instacart Shoppers’ contractor classification. They’ve also received pushback in recent months after changing their pay structure, which many drivers have alleged cost them earnings.

That’s a wrap for this week’s gig economy roundup. Want to stay in the know? Check back next week for another on demand headline breakdown.


Instacart Shopper Tips

5 Tips To Be an Efficient Instacart Shopper

The key to getting the most out of your experience as an Instacart shopper is learning to work more efficiently. The faster and more accurate you are, the more earnings you can gain using the app. Whether you’re just picking up some part-time work on the side or you shop with Instacart as a full-time gig, use the tips below to become a more efficient Instacart Shopper.

1. Be Careful About Which Orders You Accept

Most Instacart Shoppers have gotten orders that required them to lug around a bunch of heavy items like cases of water, firewood, cat litter, and other bulk items. Though this may not be too difficult to maneuver when the items are in the store cart, getting them into your car and delivering them to the customer’s home is another story.

Heavy items are not only physically demanding but can really drag down your shopping and delivery times, which gives you less time to pick up other orders.

For this reason, look carefully at orders before you accept them. Orders from places like Costco, Sam’s Club, or pet stores like Petco often yield heavy bulk purchases that are difficult to carry and even more challenging to deliver, especially if there are stairs involved. A quick way to see if the order contains bulk buys is to look at the number of items vs. units. If you see 10 items and 120 units, there’s a good chance that you’re picking up cases of water or soda.

2. Get to Know the Stores You Shop In.

The most important efficiency tip for Instacart shoppers is to know the stores you shop in. No two stores are exactly the same, even if they belong to the same chain. Getting to know the different sections of the store, such as deli, produce, and bakery, as well as getting to know what’s located on the different aisles, will help you improve your speed and accuracy.

During your first few trips to a new location, be aware of your surroundings and make note of any major differences of locations of items. If you have a hard time locating an item in a new store, don’t waste time desperately searching. Instead, utilize the help of store employees to locate it.

The more you shop at the same locations, the better you will get to know where items are located. The better you get to know the stores, the more efficiently you can shop.

3. Scan the List Beforehand to Plan Your Shopping Route

Before you start a shopping trip, look at the list so you know which areas of the store you need to visit and which you can skip. Looking at the list ahead of time also allows you to put together a quick plan of action to ensure your route around the store is as efficient as possible.

As mentioned previously, no two stores are the same, even if they are in the same chain. Sometimes sections of the store will be in a different order or items will be located in different aisles. It’s best to shop in the order of the sections as they are laid out in the building. This saves you time from running back and forth across the store.

In addition to keeping in mind the order of sections, you’ll also want to prioritize the type of items you pick up first. For instance, you’ll want to save cold and frozen items for last so they remain cold when they get to the customer. Deli orders and other customized items may take longer, so shop for items near this section while you’re waiting for your deli number to be called.

Instacart shopper efficiency


4. Keep Multiple Orders Organized

One of the best ways to maximize your earnings on Instacart is to pick up multiple orders at one time. However, the more orders you accept, the more complicated the shopping trip can be. For this reason, make sure you have processes in place to keep multiple orders organized in the store and in your car.

A popular tip is to use baskets in addition to the shopping cart. This is a great way to keep items separated while you are shopping for multiple orders in the same store. You’ll also want to make sure you look over both orders carefully so you can tackle them at the same time.

In addition to keeping your order items separated in the store, knowing the location of different orders in your car makes it much easier to get the delivery to the customer faster and more accurately. It will save you time and confusion in trying to sort it out later.

5. Take Advantage of the Opportunity to Get Help to Your Car

Yet another way you can work to save time during your Instacart shopping trips is by getting help when you need it. At a few grocery stores, the bagger will offer to help take your items to the car. If you are only dealing with a few items, it won’t be worth the trouble. However, if you have a large haul or bulk items, you can save time by getting help loading these into your car.

Be careful if you are picking up multiple orders and accepting help to your vehicle. Remember that you want to keep different orders separated in your vehicle. Let the store employee know where you would like items to go as they are helping load your car.

These are just a few insider tips you can use to become a more efficient Instacart Shopper. Remember, it’s not just speed that matters, but also accuracy. Make sure you are not sacrificing your attention to detail, as picking up the wrong items for customers can affect your ratings and your tips. The better you get to know where things are located in the store, the faster your shopping times will be.


Turo Go User

English Limes, Bird Needs Scooterpreneurs and Instacart Is Getting Social

This Week In On Demand — Nov. 30, 2018

Not even the post-Thanksgiving drowsiness can slow down the on demand app momentum.

Fortunately, we kept an eye on the latest gig economy happenings so you didn’t have to. Here’s what you missed this week in on demand.

Wind Mobility Raises $22 Million

E-scooters are dominating the on demand industry worldwide, and now, there’s another player in the mix.

Wind Mobility announced a $22 million funding round led by HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and Source Code Capital. Based in Berlin, the scooter rental company launched in 2017, and currently serves markets in Western Europe and the U.S.

Wind Mobility joins two other must-watch European competitors — VOI and Tier. All three startups are in a race to dominate the EU before American companies, like Bird and Lime, gain a stronghold on the market.

Another contender is Taxify, an Estonian-based ride-sharing company that’s expanding into scooters.

Lime Lands in the UK

While Wind Mobility sets its sights on European domination, Lime is focusing its attention further north. On Monday, the company, began its first day of operation in the UK, but they’re only launching their e-bikes in the first wave.

Milton Keynes is the only city in the operating area with expansion expected in the future.

Lime U.K. Bike


From initial reports, the launch seems to have gone off without a hitch — standing in sharp contrast to many of their e-scooter operations in the U.S.

Lime has experienced local government pushback, a lawsuit, and massive recalls over the past few months.

However, the company has taken a different approach with their UK launch by working closely with the Milton Keynes council and focusing on e-bikes, which haven’t yet undergone the backlash of their scooter counterparts.

Bird Joins Forces With Independent Operators for Bird Platform

On Tuesday, Bird announced a new franchise partnership program.

Dubbed Bird Platform, the option allows individuals or businesses to purchase their own fleet of Bird scooters. The scooter-sharing company sets up the independent entrepreneur with a customized website, a branded set of e-scooters, and access to Bird’s network of contractors for charging or repair purposes.

The operators are required to pay for any necessary operation permits in their area, but Bird is in charge of filing the paperwork.

Along with the initial buy-in, Bird also receives 20 percent of each scooter ride.

By giving the power to local operators, who offer insider knowledge into their community, Bird is able to further expand their markets without directly dealing with the struggles of a hands-on approach.

Instacart Nabs Social Media Guru From Facebook

Last week, Instacart made another addition to its growing team. Bangaly Kaba is joining the grocery-delivery company as the vice president of growth. He currently serves as Facebook’s Instagram manager — a position he’s held since 2014.

Kaba will fill the spot left by previous chief growth officer, Elliot Shmukler, who left the company in September.

Kaba’s hiring is added to a list of big-name additions to Instacart’s team just this month.

A few weeks ago, the company welcomed two former Google employees, Varouj Chitilian and Dave Sobota, along with an acquihire of the MightySignal team, which added six new team members.

While team expansions are expected of a growing company, these moves are likely being made to prepare for Amazon’s entry into the grocery delivery market.

Uber Hit With $1.17 Million Fine

A data breach and alleged coverup by ousted CEO, Travis Kalanick, is costing Uber $1.17 million. The fine was issued by the UK and the Netherlands governments as a result of the ride-sharing company breaking EU privacy laws. The hacking incident, which occurred in 2016, affected 57 million people globally.

The European fine is substantially less than the financial consequences Uber faces stateside.

While only 600,000 U.S. users were affected, the company is facing a $148 million payout for the breach. Improvements to their cybersecurity measures are also a part of the settlement made with the country’s state governments.

Turo Announces Turo Go, While Getaround Says ‘Goodbye’ to Uber Rent

Peer-to-peer vehicle rental service Turo announced Turo Go, using Continental’s Key as a Service (KaaS) software.

The partnership allows users on Turo’s platform access to a mobile-powered keyless entry and operation system. As a result, both vehicle owners and renters avoid the dreaded in-person meet up to exchange keys.


The software is similar to Getaround’s Connect system, making Turo a more powerful player in the peer-to-peer vehicle rental market.

Speaking of Getaround, the company’s latest partnership with Uber, known as Uber Rent or Uber Getaround, is being dismantled.

The venture launched in April of this year and allowed rideshare drivers to rent a peer’s vehicle directly through the Uber app.

Uber privately announced the end of the program to users last week, and it has since been made public. Uber drivers without vehicles can still take advantage of discounted rates through the company’s previous partnership with the peer-to-peer rental service, but all transactions take place separately through the Getaround app.

Check back next week to stay up-to-date on the latest acquisitions, investments, collaborations, and team announcements affecting side hustles worldwide.


Wonolo series C

Bain Decides To Wanolo And Precurser Has A Knack

This Week In On Demand — Nov. 23, 2018

Not even the holiday season can put a hold on the gig economy’s movements. While you feast on your Thanksgiving meal, catch up on the latest on-demand industry happenings with this week’s news roundup.

Instacart Raises Another $271 Million

Over the past few months, Instacart has held a consistent spot in our news roundups. This week, the on demand grocery delivery startup has reportedly raised another $271 million.

The company is staying silent about this Series F round, but one of the prominent investors is Tiger Global Management.

Known for their investments in Uber, Flipkart, Glassdoor, and Spotify, their Instacart funding is just one of many new investments made by Tiger Global since starting a new $3.75 billion tech fund. The venture capitalist powerhouse was joined by Coatue Management and Valiant Capital — both of whom already have stakes in Instacart.

Adding to the $600 million investment from D1 Capital last month, Instacart has raised an impressive $1.87 billion overall, with the latest round valuing the company at $7.87 billion.

Knack Snags $1.5 Million From Investors

On Monday, Knack announced a highly successful seed funding round. The peer-to-peer tutoring startup scored $1.5 million from investors, which is a considerable amount considering they only launched two years ago.

The funding round was led by Precursor Ventures and Jeffry Vinik, but also included Bisk Ventures, Elysium Venture Capital, and Arizona State University.

Knack differs from other on-demand tutoring services as the company also partners directly with educational institutions.

This arrangement offers more long-term security, as the university contracts are set for specific periods of time instead of relying solely on student demand.

Knack also offers the ability to give group tutoring sessions.

Booking A Knack Group Session


Considering the amount of interest in the company, Knack has the potential to become a permanent staple in the education industry, especially if it expands its focus to include primary and secondary schools.

Wonolo Announces $32 Million Funding Round

While Knack is gaining ground in higher education, Wonolo is gaining momentum in the blue-collar sector. Monday morning, the on-demand staffing company announced it landed $32 million for the Series C funding round, bringing their total to $52.9 million overall.

The latest round was led by Bain Capital Ventures, which previously invested in DocuSign, SurveyMonkey, and LinkedIn. Their Wonolo investment comes five days after Bain announced a new $1 billion fund aimed at early stage startups. Other investors in the Series C round included Tuesday Captial, Base10 Partners, Sequoia Capital, and DAG Ventures.



Labor-based work has been largely overlooked in the Silicon Valley, but the demand is undoubtedly there. Shiftgig is currently the only other strong competitor in the industry. While the company boasts $56 million in investments, it only has 15,000 contractors signed up. Wonolo’s 300,000 user workforce and collaboration with big companies, like Coca-Cola, give them the upper hand.

Lyft Updates Rider App & Releases Charity Contribution Totals While Uber Launches Jump In Seattle

Late last week, Lyft announced some coming new updates to their app. Soon, riders will have the option to set a default tip amount as well as choose an amount mid-ride. The other rider feature involves a five-star default rating for every trip that the rider doesn’t score on their own. Along with app updates, the company also announced that they’ve raised $10 million for charities through the app’s Round Up & Donate feature — which launched in 2017.

While Lyft focuses on PR and app improvements, Uber has turned their attention to the Seattle bike-sharing market. Joining Lyft and Lime, Uber is launching around 300 of its Jump e-bikes in Emerald City this week, with hopes to reach 5,000 rentals by early 2019. Even though Uber hasn’t yet made an app-update announcement, it’s likely to occur this holiday season. Both companies announced new rider reward programs last week, and in the last month, their subscription service launches were back-to-back.

The back and forth between the two rideshare competitors is the new normal. But just because the year is almost over, don’t expect either Lyft or Uber to go silent. With their 2019 IPOs looming, the race is on and neither team is likely to rest on their laurels until they’ve reached the public market.

Don’t worry about missing a single announcement over your Thanksgiving break! We’ll keep an eye on all things side hustle related and alert you to the biggest on demand news in next week’s roundup. Until then, ponder this: what do you think the next announcement is going to be from Lyft and Uber? And who will get there first?


Parkwhiz on demand parking app

Ford Spins, GM Goes Turo, And Lyft & Uber Want Your Loyalty

This Week In On Demand — Nov. 16, 2018

The gig economy truly never sleeps, making it incredibly easy to miss important announcements. Fortunately, we’ve outlined everything you need to know in this week’s on demand news roundup.

ParkWhiz Scores Another $5 Million

ParkWhiz, the Chicago based on demand parking startup, raised another $5 million in its latest round, led by Amazon. Amazon’s Alexa Fund was joined investors Alate Partners, Chaifetz Group, and Purple Arch Ventures.

While $5 million is nothing to scoff at, the latest equity harness comes two months after ParkWhiz announced a Series D investment round of $20 million.

In total, the company has raised a whopping $61 million over five funding rounds.

Currently, the service is utilized by commercial parking operations as a way to reach new customers. In the future, ParkWhiz may have the opportunity to expand their offerings to standard business lots and residential locations for special events, like concerts and football games.

Combined with the level of investor interest and potential for growth, this is one of the companies you should keep an eye on as they make their way to IPO.

Ford Dives Into E-Scooter Market With $100 Million Aquisition

Known for their American muscle cars and pickup trucks, Ford is taking a solid step toward sustainability by entering the e-scooter industry. The automotive company purchased Spin, a San Francisco-based scooter startup, for $100 million.

While it’s not Ford’s first step into the scooter-share industry, the acquisition is their first secure move. Previously, the automaker tested a scooter rental service at Purdue University.

Ford isn’t the only company looking to expand outside of the auto industry. As we reported last week, GM is launching two new e-bike models next year.

Both expansions are a necessity with today’s cultural shift toward more eco-friendly modes of transportation.

Yet, the e-scooter and e-bike industries are quickly becoming saturated, so the long-term sustainability of such moves are uncertain.

GM’s Maven Expands Peer-to-Peer Car Rental Offerings

GM’s on-demand car rental service, Maven, is making some changes to its service restrictions over the next year. Soon, owners of non-GM vehicles will be allowed to utilize the platform for short-term rental listings.

Previously, Maven only hosted newer GM vehicles, which restricted the offerings for users.

The move by Maven means GM is now directly competing with companies like Turo, Getaround, and Hyrecar.

The news of the service expansion comes as the company prepares their game plan for new market development in Canada.

While Maven owns an in-house fleet of on-demand rentals, expanding its peer-to-peer service offerings is a smart shift for the company. The expansion opens up the platform to a wider variety of vehicle owners, which provides more options for gig workers, like Uber and Lyft drivers.


Considering the company still makes a profit off of every rental transaction — whether it’s their fleet or not, the new arrangement is sure to bring in more customers and make them a solid competitor in the car-sharing industry.

Given that GM is moving more firmly into the car sharing space, don’t be surprised to start hearing buzz about another automaker acquiring Turo or Getaround.

Instacart Announces New Grocery Pickup Service

As we predicted a few weeks ago, Instacart has made yet another move to spur growth.

Last week, the on-demand grocery delivery service announced it’s expanding its store-pickup service.

Instacart Pickup allows customers to order their groceries through the app, but instead of having them delivered to their home, they simply stop by the store to grab their completed orders.

Currently, the service option is limited to select areas, but by 2019, it’s set to reach over 200 stores nationwide.

Even with the pick-up option, it’s unlikely that Instacart will suffer any losses on the delivery service. Instead, it will bring in more clients who want the convenience of on-demand grocery shopping without the additional cost of delivery.

Such a growth opportunity is exactly what Instacart needs as they prepare to take on Amazon in the on-demand grocery sector.

The Battle Continues: Lyft and Uber Both Launch New Rider Loyalty Programs

After a couple weeks of silence, the rideshare powerhouses are once again making battle moves.

On Monday, Lyft announced the launch of its new loyalty program, Lyft Rewards.

The initiative offers users points for every ride they take. Riders can then transform their rewards into discounted service costs or ride upgrades.

Just days later, Uber announced its “first-of-its-kind” rewards program with four different membership levels. Uber users will now earn points that, once accumulated, will be redeemable for Uber Cash.

Lyft’s market debut is quickly approaching with an expected Q1 IPO.

As a result, every move they make in the coming weeks is carefully strategized to boost their valuation, secure customer loyalty, and become a solid competitor against Uber’s Q2 or Q3 IPO.

Yet, this is really only the beginning of this rideshare war.

Both businesses need to make smart moves to secure long-term survival.

What a busy week! Now that you’re all caught up, what do you think about the new trend of automakers setting their sights on the on-demand industries?

Ford and GM may be the first, but they aren’t likely to be the last. Check back next week to find out what major changes have rocked the industry!


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!


Uberfreight - Week In On Demand

Lyft Subscriptions, Instacart Checks Out, And Uber Works – This Week In On Demand

This Week In On Demand — Oct. 19, 2018

The on-demand industry never sleeps. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about missing a thing because we’ve got you covered. From looming grocery wars to rideshare takeovers, here’s the latest round of happenings in the gig economy.

Instacart Scores Another $600 Million In Investment

Thanks to D1 Capital Partners, headed by Daniel Sundheim, Instacart has landed another $600 million investment. This boost comes just months after a two-part investment from Coatue Management and Glade Brook Capital Partners totaling $350 million. Together, the business has scored a whopping $950 million in investments in 2018 and raised its valuation to $7.6 billion.

While the scope of these venture capital investments are impressive, they’re not without reason. The grocery-delivery company is preparing for an epic battle with Amazon. The online retailer has set its sights on grocery delivery — where Instacart currently reigns supreme. With such a powerful company threatening to enter its sphere, it’s no wonder Instacart is taking such precautionary steps. Plus, the enterprise is looking to go public soon, which raises the stakes further. We’re likely to see even more investments coming within the next few quarters.

Lyft Launches Monthly Subscription Service

Lyft is joining the ranks of Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu with its newest offering. On Tuesday, the company announced the launch of its All-Access Plan. The subscription service offers 30 rides costing up to $15 each for a flat monthly rate of $299. This launch accompanies the rideshare company’s new Ditch Your Car marketing initiative that encourages vehicle owners to give up driving for ridesharing.

Offering a subscription service isn’t just convenient for Lyft users — it’s also a power play. The company is amping up for its market debut next year and has already started building a hand-selected IPO team. Since its biggest competitor, Uber, is also preparing to go public, the stakes have never been greater. Keep an eye out on this rideshare race, as there are likely to be a host of unexpected announcements and service updates in the near future.

Airbnb Receives More Pushback From Local Governments

Once again, Airbnb is facing tough opposition from municipalities in some of its most popular markets. Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners passed a new ordinance on Tuesday that regulates short-term property rentals. The rule imposes a fine on property owners and hosting services, like Airbnb, that offer rentals without proper registration and tourism tax payments. In Washington D.C., the City Council is considering even harsher measures that prevent short-term rentals on all secondary properties and place restrictions on primary residences.

The latest round of pushback joins the growing collection of local and county municipalities questioning the legality of the hosting platform. Last week, Las Vegas took the next step in imposing their own restrictions on peer-to-peer home rental services. To combat such potentially large profit losses, we’re likely to witness an increase in lobbying, PR campaigns, and even legal battles from Airbnb in coming months.

Uber Launches Powerloop, Uber Works & Sets Its Sights On Grocery Delivery

On Wednesday, Uber announced the launch of a new business venture called Powerloop — another step in the rideshare company’s goal of conquering the trucking industry. The trailer rental service is currently available in Texas and already boasts Anheuser-Busch among its clientele. Powerloop falls under the Uber Freight umbrella, which provides on-demand hauling services across the country.

Uberfreight Powerloop


On Thursday, Uber announced it was also getting into the on-demand staffing industry with the launch of Uber Works. The new company will offer short term staffing solutions (waitstaff and security primarily) for events and functions.

These new initiatives (along with the Jump roll out) are being led by Rachel Holt, who led the company after Travis Kalanick’s resignation. The moves come ahead of the ride-hailing company’s expected IPO in the second half of 2019. Like Lyft, Uber is attempting to expand its offerings ahead of hitting the market, which is why it’s also reportedly setting its sights on grocery delivery. While it’s UberRUSH collaboration with Walmart didn’t prove successful, the business is determined to take another shot. However, the move would put them up against the likes of Instacart and Amazon, making it an incredibly challenging endeavor.

Fiverr Announces Educational Platform for Freelancers

Known for connecting freelancers with clients, Fiverr announced the launch of a new e-learning program coined Learn from Fiverr. The platform offers a variety of paid online courses, ranging from marketing to graphic design, designed to enhance professional skills. Upon completion, users receive a badge that’s displayed on their profile for clients to see.

Offering such a collection of professional tools is a smart move for Fiverr. Other top contractor platforms, like Freelancer, haven’t yet entered the realm of educational content. Considering the upwards growth of the freelance community, the lack of competition in this environment is sure to boost Fiverr’s profits as well as grow their contractor list.

You’re all caught up! What are your predictions for the upcoming battle between Instacart and Amazon? Do you think Uber stands a chance in the on-demand grocery delivery market? Let us know in the comments.


delivery driver vehicle options - scooter

What Type Of Vehicle Is Best For Delivery Drivers?

What’s the Best Style of Vehicle for Food Delivery Drivers?

Food delivery has become a staple in the on-demand industry, with companies like Doordash, Caviar, and Postmates leading the way.

To keep up with the increasing number of customers, more drivers are hitting the streets. Unlike rideshare however, food delivery drivers have a wider range of vehicle choices available to them. But, how do you figure out which one is right for you?

In this guide, we’ll take a closer at the vehicle options for food delivery as well as the requirements of the top delivery services. Keep reading to figure out the best style for your needs.

The Most Common Types of Food Delivery Vehicles

When making your vehicle decision, you need to consider a variety of factors. These items include the layout of your city and the service area. For instance, while a 5-mile ride on a bike isn’t too bad, pedaling for 10 or 15 miles in one direction might be too overwhelming. Consider these factors as you learn about each option.

The most common types of food delivery vehicle fall into four categories:

  • Car
  • Bike
  • Moped or motorcycle
  • Electric Scooter

Car, Truck, or SUV

Cars, trucks, and SUVs are all acceptable options for food delivery. Even two-seater options provide plenty of room to safely store and transport food. The benefit of a cabin also means you won’t be constantly exposed to the elements, like wind and rain.

However, delivery drivers put a lot of miles on their vehicle. As a result, you should expect to take fuel, maintenance, and repair costs out of your delivery earnings.

The bonus of a using a car is that you can handle larger orders. This can come in handy for large corporate orders you may get driving for Caviar or Doordash, or larger grocery store orders that you may get on Instacart.


A traditional bicycle is a popular choice for many delivery drivers. While this type of vehicle still has to follow the rules of the road, it makes getting through busy areas easier. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the time it takes to find car parking for pick-ups and delivery.

Since electric bicycles are becoming more readily available, they’re becoming a common choice for many couriers as well. With the boost of electric power, you have the ability to reduce your travel time and make more deliveries.

Moped or Motorcycle

Mopeds are a fantastic vehicle for food delivery, and the second most popular choice for delivery drivers, behind cars. They’re usually more comfortable and roomier than bicycles. They’re also easy to attach a food satchel, which keeps food warm or cool and out of the sun. Most mopeds run on batteries and require little upkeep, so you won’t have to pay for fuel and or high maintenance costs.

Actual motorcycles typically have larger engines and higher speed capabilities than mopeds. With this option, you can make better time by taking highways and interstates. However, there are also driver restrictions, like licensing and insurance.

Electric Scooters

Old-school, two-wheel, scooters have made a comeback in recent years, with one difference. They’re now electric. As a result, they’ve also become a popular transportation choice for delivery drivers. The biggest perk of using an electric scooter is the size. Not only are they incredibly lightweight, but many models fold up as well. These qualities help make deliveries more convenient, as drivers are able to take their vehicle into restaurants, on elevators, and right up to customers’ doors. The most popular model is the GOTRAX GXL.

Gotrax GXL Delivery Electric Scooter


Buy On Amazon


Food Delivery Company Restrictions & Qualifications

Aside from your personal preferences, you also need to consider the company you want to partner with. Many people choose to work with multiple food delivery services so they have plenty of money-making opportunities. Regardless of the number of companies you partner with, it’s important that you choose a vehicle that matches each service’s requirements.

Here’s a look at the top options. All of these options offer a sign up bonus or guarantee in most markets. To be eligible, simply click one of the “Join” buttons below to start your application.

DoorDash Vehicle Requirements

DoorDash is one of the most popular food delivery services and currently operates in nearly 2,000 markets. The company accepts Dasher applicants with any style and age of the car, whether it’s a two- or four-door model. This specification also includes trucks and SUVs. However, in some markets, DoorDash also allows drivers to use bicycles, electric scooters, and motorcycles. In a few select markets, you can even complete deliveries on foot. Check your market for specifics.


Join Doordash


Caviar Vehicle Requirements

Caviar is another top food delivery service, specializing in higher end restaurants. Caviar offers a wide range of vehicle options. Couriers can utilize traditional four- or two-wheel vehicles, including bicycles, mopeds, and motorcycles. For cars, trucks, SUVs, and motorcycles, the vehicle needs official registration and the minimum insurance coverage required by your state. Like DoorDash, Caviar only delivers food orders, so any of the vehicle options are likely to work well.


Join Caviar


Postmates Vehicle Requirements

Postmates drivers often provide food delivery, but their services also include delivery of products from other types of local businesses. The company allows the full spectrum of vehicles in its fleet, from cars and trucks to bicycles and mopeds. But, you also have the option to ride electric variations of scooters and bicycles.

Postmates has also now started offering a vehicle assistance program to their delivery drivers. Instead of car rentals, like many rideshare companies, members of their fleet have the option to rent an electric scooter or bicycle from GenZe. Currently, this program is only offered in select markets.

While many customers utilize Postmates for food delivery, you’re likely to end up also delivering things like office supplies. The wider market is great for business because it provides more delivery opportunities. However, the potential weight of non-food orders may make delivery on a traditional bicycle or scooter a struggle. As a result, it’s best to utilize a car or electric two-wheel mode of transportation for Postmates.



Join Postmates


Uber Eats Vehicle Requirements

Uber Eats is Uber’s food delivery service. In the majority of cities, the company allows drivers to utilize cars as well as bicycles and mopeds. However, each style has its own requirements.

Uber Eats Car Requirements

  • Vehicle 20 years old or newer.
  • Driver must be at least 19 years old.

Uber Eats Bicycle Requirements

  • Riders 18 years and older accepted.

Uber Eats Scooter Requirements

  • Rider needs to be at least 19 years old.
  • No three- or four-wheel models accepted.
  • Maximum speeds of 30 mph.
  • Motor needs to be 50cc or less.

Uber designed their food delivery service to allow its rideshare drivers to participate in between services. As a result, Uber drivers can accept delivery and ride requests at the same time. However, if you would like to make money from both services, you’ll need to utilize a car or SUV that meets the stricter Uber rideshare requirements.


Join UberEats


Which Style of Food Delivery Vehicle Is Right for You?

Choosing the right vehicle style involves considering a variety of factors. However, most of the companies allow drivers to switch vehicles. So, if you start with a car and want to move to a moped, it shouldn’t be a big issue. If you’re interested in learning more about individual delivery services, check out our pages on being a Doordash or Caviar driver.