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.


Bird Scooter Riders

Bird Platform: How to Manage Your Own Scooter Fleet with Bird

Since launching about a year ago, Bird, a popular scootershare company, has already clocked more than 10 million rides and expanded to more than 100 cities. Now, the company is expanding its offering with a new opportunity for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to develop their own fleet of sharable e-scooters.

In late November, Bird Rides launched the Bird Platform.

The new Bird Platform enables entrepreneurs to make money managing their own fleet of shared e-scooters using Bird’s resources. This program offers a great opportunity for business-savvy individuals who want to make a little money on the side or established business owners who want to expand their services.

If this sounds like the kind of opportunity you want to take advantage of, you’ll want to understand how the platform works and how you can get started with your own fleet. Below is a quick guide that covers all you need to know about the new Bird Platform.

Bird Platform: How It Works

The basic logistics of the platform are simple.

Bird provides you with scooters at cost and access to the company’s marketplace of chargers and mechanics. As an independent operator, you run your own fleet complete with your own branding. You can also decide whether to utilize Bird chargers and mechanics or use your own resources.

Purchasing Branded Scooters

As an independent operator, you can purchase the e-scooters directly from Bird at cost.

These will be their Bird Zero model scooters, which have 60 percent more battery life, better durability, and increased ride stability when compared to the earlier model.


There are no minimum or maximum number of scooters you need to purchase as part of your fleet.

However, keep in mind any local regulations that dictate the number of scooters allowed on the streets.

For example, in San Francisco, the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency has put a cap on the number of scooters permitted on the roads. And they have actually denied Bird a permit to operate within the city limits at all.

Once you’ve purchased the scooters, you’ll need to create your own branding to set yourself apart from other scooter companies in your area. After developing your unique branding, simply upload your logo to the Bird Platform and select your sleeve color. According to Bird, you cover the cost of city permits, and they’ll “do the rest.”

Managing Your E-Scooter Fleet

Once you have purchased your fleet of e-scooters, you’ll get everything you need to manage the machines through the Bird Platform.

In addition to the freedom to brand your scooter fleet however you please, Bird will also help you run your scooters from your very own customized app. The scooters are delivered to you “map-ready,” meaning that they are already equipped with the latest in GPS, anti-theft technology, and GovTech.

All independent operators will have access to Bird’s Open Map API. This allows them to display their scooters on the Bird map where riders will be able to see available scooters to reserve.

Bird Scooters - Find a Bird Nearby


Since Bird is already a popular scooter rental app for consumers, allowing independent operators to display their scooters on the Bird app will help drive additional business for these entrepreneurs and business owners.

The Bird Platform will also make it easy for independent operators to market their business through a customized website. You can add your own branding and information to the site and begin to use this as a marketing tool for your scooter fleet. And you can manage it all from one easy to use platform through Bird.

bird e-scooter fleet


Accessing the Charger & Mechanic Marketplace

When you become an independent operator with Bird, you also have access to an extensive marketplace of chargers and mechanics for your e-scooter fleet. Having access to the Bird charger and mechanic apps enables you to easily get all the tools and resources you need to streamline your business and more efficiently manage and maintain your fleet of e-scooters.

Independent operators will be able to set their own pay rate for chargers to maintain their scooters. This means you have more control over your bottom line. Not to mention, you also have the ability to charge the scooters yourself as a way to save money. In fact, those who currently work as chargers for Bird may be the ideal candidates to become independent operators as they will be able to maximize their earnings doing the same task.

Operating Fees

In addition to initial start-up costs of purchasing the Bird-designed e-scooters, Bird will also charge a service fee for each ride. This service fee covers all of the benefits Bird provides its independent operators, including the ability to buy reliable scooters at cost; use of the Bird Platform, which makes e-scooter fleet management easy; access to the network of chargers and mechanics; and listing on Bird’s Open Map API. This service fee will amount to 20 percent of the ride cost.

Other costs involved include the cost of maintenance. Again, you have the ability to charge the scooters yourself or pay chargers on Bird’s charger network. The best option for you will depend on your own individual needs and circumstances. You’ll also need to consider mechanic fees. Though you have access to the network of Bird mechanics through their app, you may also outsource this work or complete it yourself, depending on your own needs and preferences.

How to Get Started With Your Own Bird Scooter Fleet

Bird has just launched the Bird Platform and is beginning the rollout in select cities this month.

According to Bird, more than 300 entrepreneurs and business owners have already started to show interest in this opportunity. As it’s currently only available in a few markets, they are currently asking those who want to become independent operators to sign up to join the Bird Platform waitlist.


Lyft IPO S1

Lyft Files For IPO, Lime Undefines, & Uber Looking For A Bird (Or Lime)?

This Week In On Demand — Dec. 7, 2018

From Uber to Instacart, the big players in the on demand industries refuse to rest this holiday season.

Luckily, we’re bringing all the top headlines to one convenient spot. Grab a seat — here’s what has been happening this week in on demand.

Lyft Files To Go Public

Yesterday, Lyft announced that it had filed a draft S-1 Form with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to its proposed initial public offering. While the number of shares and offering price has not been determined, the IPO is expected to take place in Q1 of 2019.

Lyft was valued at $15.1 Billion in its latest funding round, and will likely go public at a valuation between $18 and $30 billion. Uber is expected to go public next year as well, but Lyft will likely beat them to market by several months.

NYC Passes Minimum Wage Law For Rideshare Drivers

On Wednesday, The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission set a minimum wage of $17.22 per hour (after expenses) for rideshare drivers in the city. The new wage will go into effect in mid-January of next year.

Over 90% of rideshare drivers are expected to benefit from the increase. Uber & Lyft were opposed to the move, arguing it will increase fares for consumers, and increase traffic congestion.

Lime Faces Struggles Over PR Firm Connection

While Lime isn’t discussing a potential Uber buyout, they are struggling to keep the story straight on their connection with Definers Public Affairs.

Last month, it came to light that the scooter company had hired Definers Public Affairs for a three-month contract. The PR firm specializes in opposition research, but their tactics have caused controversy across multiple industries.

Lime Scooter

Since the news of their contract hit, Lime has repeatedly changed their stance.

First, the VP of Global expansion Caen Contee stated the scooter company cut ties with the firm after learning about the use of smear tactics. That claim was followed the next day with two separate official company statements — both of which served to counteract Contee’s statement. No further information was provided, leaving the true relationship between the two businesses unclear.

Instacart Faces Boycott After Cutting Customer Fees

While it’s smooth sailing for Amazon, their biggest competitor in the grocery delivery sector has hit rough waters. Instacart is facing a boycott from their independent contractors following a slash in customer pricing.

The on demand grocery service announced earlier this month that it is cutting their annual Express membership fee down to $99 and eliminating the per-delivery service fee.

The move was made in an effort to become more affordable than Amazon Prime’s Whole Foods delivery. However, Instacart shoppers claim the new pay structure, which will affect all U.S. markets by the end of December, has resulted in substantial earning losses.

Considering Instacart relies on its shoppers for operation, the contractor backlash has the potential to cause serious problems if the company doesn’t rectify the issue.

Amazon Go Is Ready for Bigger Stores

Amazon is bringing their cashierless shopping experience to a bigger venue. Reportedly, the company is testing their grab-and-go grocery method in Seattle. The city, along with a handful of others, has already been a testing site for their cashierless system. However, all previous instances of Amazon Go were in small settings.


Amazon is at the forefront of the quickly evolving grocery industry. It’s well known the company hopes to expand its on demand grocery delivery offerings, which inspired its purchase of Whole Foods.

With the addition of check-out-free in-store shopping offerings, Amazon is in prime position to give both delivery services, like Instacart, and retailers, like Walmart and Target, a run for their money.

Uber Teams Up With Starbucks, Hires NHTSA Veteran, and Considers Big-Name Scooter Acquisition

It’s been a busy week for Uber. Last week the rideshare company announced a seasonal collaboration with Starbucks. Known as the “Week of Cheers,” riders receive a buy one, get one drink coupon for every trip taken between December 3rd and December 9th.

Uber drivers are also included in the holiday promotion by earning Starbucks gift cards — the amounts of which are based on the number of tips received. Such a big name collaboration would normally turn heads, but the headline was only the beginning for Uber announcements this week.

On Monday, news broke that the company hired Nat Beuse to join their autonomous vehicle sector. The newest team member previously worked at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, focusing on on-the-road safety and research.

The move serves as a powerful effort to reinvigorate Uber’s self-driving program, which suffered a major setback after a pedestrian in Arizona was killed during on-the-road testing in March.

The week also opened with news of a potential scooter acquisition. Reportedly, Uber is looking to expand their e-scooter offerings with a purchase of either Bird or Lime. While they already own JUMP, an on demand scooter and bike rental company, the service is only available in two cities. Information regarding the potential purchase is currently limited with all three parties remaining tight-lipped.

Well, you’re caught up for this week. Check back next week for the latest news affecting your favorite side hustles.


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.


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!


Lime Rover Week In On Demand

Roving International, Lime Fires, Hyrecar Nabs Park – This Week In On Demand

This Week In On Demand – Nov. 2, 2018

It’s been another big week for the gig economy. From canine-themed acquisitions to rideshare subscription services, here’s what’s happening in on-demand industries this week.

Rover Acquires DogBuddy While Wag! Announces New Hires

The battle of the canines is in full swing. On Wednesday, Rover announced their purchase of DogBuddy, a U.K.-based dog-sitting service available in multiple markets throughout Europe.

It’s the first big purchase the dog-sitting company has made since their latest round of funding, which accumulated a $155 million investment total. The move also comes after Rover announced their expansion to the U.K. By purchasing DogBuddy, the company now has instant access to an already-successful European market.

While Rover expands its empire, their biggest competitor, Wag!, is expanding its team. The U.S.-based dog-walking company announced two new hires late last week.

Formally associated with Highfive, Twitter, and Yahoo!, Cilia Poon takes the role as chief financial officer. For general counsel, Wag! has brought in Craig Gatarz, who previously served as executive vice president at The Honest Company.

In combination with their latest $300 million investment round, these leadership moves are likely a signal of upcoming changes, possibly a service expansion, acquisition, or an IPO target date announcement.

Lime Hires Chief Business Officer, Announces Election Day Initiative, and Pulls Fire-Hazard Scooters

Lime announced early this week that it’s bringing David Richter on board as the company’s first chief business officer. Previously, Richter spent time at Uber as the global head of business and corporate development.

This strategic move comes as the scooter company moves toward broadening their offerings with car-sharing and retail store locations. Along with building an impressive corporate team, Lime is on the hunt for investors to reach a $3 billion funding goal for their upcoming endeavors.

On Tuesday, the company reported they had pulled an undisclosed number of scooters off the streets because of a potential battery-related fire hazard. All of the models were linked to manufacturer Segway Ninebot and only affected three markets — Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, and San Diego. This statement came just minutes before the scooter company announced their Election Day initiative. Joining rideshare companies Uber and Lyft, Lime is offering free e-scooter, bikes, and e-bike rides on November 6th.

While the news of battery issues are concerning, it’s not likely to cause substantial impact to the Lime brand. The company’s most recent round of funding totaled $335 million, was led by Google Ventures, and valued the company at $1.1 billion.

That’s somewhat smaller than their main competitor Bird, which is valued at $2 billion. However, Lime’s last funding round included an investment and partnership with Uber, which saw Uber branding added to Lime scooters. Uber customers will also be able to rent a Lime scooter from the Uber app, at some point.

Uber Launches Monthly Subscription Service

Tuesday also brought the news of Uber’s latest incarnation of Ride Pass. The monthly subscription service offers riders access to flat-rate rides throughout the service area. Ranging from $14.99 to $24.99 per month, Ride Pass is currently only available in Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, and Orlando. However, it’s likely to expand rapidly over the next year, as they’ve been testing the service in various other markets for some time.

Uber Ride Pass
While the company has offered multiple versions of Ride Pass in the past, this variation of Ride Pass is a direct response to Lyft’s All-Access Plan. These launches serve not only to boost customer satisfaction and grow loyalty, but they’re also a strategic play to increase their valuations ahead of their 2019 IPOs. Both companies are making new announcements on nearly a weekly basis. Expect to see more product offering announcements, and new app features, before each of their market debuts. Lyft is aiming for a Q1 IPO, while Uber is shooting for Q3.

HyreCar Announces Chief Operating Officer

Wag! isn’t the only company making leadership announcements this week. On Tuesday, HyreCar appointed Henry Park to the role of chief operating officer. Previously the head of marketing and chief operating officer at SearchForce, Park also worked at as an executive director of traffic acquisition.

HyreCar has had a tough year. The car-sharing company entered the public market in June, but it’s faced an uphill battle after a continuous drop in share prices. The move to bring Park onboard is one of a series of strategic moves to gain back the momentum lost in the last six months. The company also announced a partnership with Shift Technology last week. Such choices mean that HyreCar isn’t going down without a fight. In fact, we shouldn’t be surprised to witness more drastic evolutions and new partnership announcements over the coming months.

It’s been a whirlwind of a week in the on-demand sectors, but now you’re all caught up. Be sure to check back next week to catch the latest happenings affecting the gig economy.