side hustle tips

10 Ways You Can Increase Monthly Income by Several Hundred Dollars

Almost everyone could use a few hundred dollars more per month to pay bills, save for vacation or to stash away for a special purchase. If you already have a job, most income increase options will require time beyond your regular work hours. However, there are a variety of enjoyable options to achieve a little extra cash and which require little upfront investment.

1.         Be a pet sitter or walk the dog.

If you are a pet lover, this is a fun and easy way to earn $35-50 a day. Pet owners going on vacation often need responsible adults to watch their cats, dogs and other family pets. Kennels charge $25-35 a day to board animals plus extra costs for playtime, food, giving meds, walking the pet and more. The growing trend is to leave animals in their familiar surroundings at home and a have a paid pet care provider visit the animal once or twice a day to provide personalized service and attention. This also allows the home to appear inhabited while owners are away. Pet sitting and dog walking jobs can be found on internet job sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor, or you can market your services in nearby neighborhoods.

2.         Become a part-time nanny.

If you enjoy children and have experience with them, there are many opportunities to spend a few hours helping a busy parent. Even work-at-home parents often need extra help to watch the kids early morning or after school. A typical morning nanny job may involve working three days a week from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. with responsibilities to get the kids up for school, make breakfast, help make lunches and ensure they get to the bus stop on time. Night nannies and after-school supervisors are also frequently sought after.

3.         Sell household goods on eBay.

Most people don’t even realize they are sitting on a small treasure chest of unused or unneeded household goods. Gather things you no longer need, such as books, records, DVDs, clothing, kitchen items, old toys and games. Take digital photos with your phone and list the items for sale in eBay. Small volume sellers can list for free. Boxes and packing supplies can often be found for free or low cost on Craigslist.

After you develop a system, offer to sell items for relatives and friends for a percentage of the final cost. If you have a little up-front cash, scour thrift stores and yard sales for items you can turnover for a quick profit. It’s often very easy to obtain a return four to six times greater than you paid for the item.

4.         Sell artwork and craft items on Etsy.

If your hobbies tend toward arts and crafts, list your items for sale on Etsy, a site similar to eBay but which focuses primarily on handmade and vintage items. This popular site is like selling at a neighborhood craft fair, but the neighborhood here is the whole world. If you love to knit, embroider, crochet, quilt, make clothes or small toys, Etsy is a great outlet with low listing fees.

5.         Drive for Uber and Lyft or become a courier.

If you have a newer vehicle and a good driving record, this is a great way to earn a few bucks on your own schedule. Uber and Lyft are always looking for drivers, especially for the busier evening and weekend runs. If you prefer not to carry passengers, there are dozens of job opportunities to deliver food, merchandise, groceries, medical supplies, newspapers and more. Search job websites using the term “driver” and you will discover that they are in high demand.

6.         Tutor a student or an adult.

You don’t need special teaching credentials to help someone else learn. Parents frequently seek tutors to help a child with math, science, music, reading, writing and other subjects. If you speak a foreign language, you will find opportunities to help an adult learn English as a second language. Seniors may need someone to teach them basic computer skills to send e-mail or use the internet. If you play an instrument, consider music instruction for aspiring musicians of all ages. You can tutor a few hours a week or more depending on how many students you want to take on. Schedules can be as flexible as needed.  Tutoring can often be done online making this even more convenient for all involved.

7.         Use your skills to start a freelance business.

If you have skills in writing, illustrating, graphic or website design, cooking, computer programming, personal training or other areas, then put those talents to work. Create a simple website, write an introductory letter and print up business cards on the home computer. Before long you are ready to go into business doing something you really enjoy. You can charge by the hour or the project. Find job opportunities on Craigslist and employment websites or market your services via websites such as Fiverr. Eventually your part-time effort may develop into an enjoyable full-time vocation.

8.         Take paid online surveys.

If you love sharing your opinion and, even better, getting paid for it, this is a perfect side gig. Sites such as Survey Junkie and Vindale Research will pay you via Paypal or with e-gift cards for completing surveys in your areas of interest. A website called Inbox Dollars will pay you to watch videos, play games and read e-mail in addition to taking surveys, and you’ll get a $5 bonus just for signing up. Activities can be completed anytime, so you just work them around your schedule.

9.         Conduct Marriages.

While state laws may vary as to who can perform a marriage ceremony, almost all allow an ordained minister to do so. You can become a legally ordained non-denominational minister online in a matter of minutes and at very little cost. This often allows a favorite family member to conduct a ceremony, but there is no reason to limit this to family. Market your services as a marriage officiant via Craigslist and offer low cost, simple ceremonies. You can conduct the ceremony in your home or at a location of the happy couple’s choosing. Make your service convenient and friendly and you will quickly attract customers. You can easily make $75-100 for a simple ceremony and more if a rehearsal is involved. This is a job where everyone walks away happy.

10.       Ask for a raise at work.

This is the one option that will probably not add to your work hours as the previous items will do. Before you go into the boss’s office to pop the question, outline a plan in your mind. Have a valid reason to ask. If it has been a long time since your last pay bump or you just completed a particularly involved task with good success, point that out. If you have been putting in extra hours to get the job done or receiving great reviews from customers, now may be the time to cash in on those efforts. The worst that can happen is the boss will say no. At least it will put the boss on notice you are looking for more which may help you ultimately achieve that raise sooner than later.

The ability to increase income is limited only by your time availability and creativity. Visit a well-known job website and do a random search on topics mentioned in this article. You may be surprised at the variety of interesting opportunities out there.


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.


Uber stock falls

Uber Stock Falls Since Last Week’s IPO, NLRD Rules Against Drivers, Paris Threatens Escooter Ban

This Week in Mobility ― May 17, 2019

This week, Uber stocks continue to fall, Paris threatens to ban escooter companies from operating on city streets, and Indian grocery startup Grofers scores a $200 million investment from Softbank Vision Fund.

Uber Stocks Fall Twice Since Last Week’s IPO

It’s no surprise that Uber stock has fallen 10.7% since going public last week. Rival company Lyft released a dismal earnings report last week, but Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi remains optimistic.

CNBC reported that Khosrowshahi sent a memo to employees encouraging them to look at the disappointing IPOs of Amazon and Facebook as a lesson in what to expect for the company’s future.

While pre-IPO valuations of the company were as high as $120 billion, their horrible stock performance in the past week has cut that estimate in half. Based on their current stock prices, Uber’s current valuation is hovering between $60-65 billion. However, the last couple of days have changed, as both Uber and Lyft are starting to see a slight increase in their trading prices.

Will Uber be able to gain ground and recover from their horrible IPO? It’s hard to tell. With tighter regulations and driver lawsuits, it may be quite a while before Uber sees any profit at all. As other rideshare companies look at Uber and Lyft as role models for the industry, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay optimistic.

Lyft and Uber Drivers Lose Ground in Their Demands for Better Treatment

On May 14, the US National Labor Relations Board released a statement that rideshare drivers are independent contractors. Both Uber and Lyft drivers are currently suing the companies, stating that they should be classified under US labor law as employees and not independent contracts.

According to Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Michael Schettenhelm, he believes the lawsuit is a lost cause for the drivers. “A lower court ruled for Uber, and we don’t expect the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will reverse course,” he wrote.

Both Uber and Lyft stocks rose Wednesday and Thursday as a result of the decision since driver relations is a key area of concern for investors. While this may temporarily help stock prices for both companies, without a true path to profit, the increase is most likely a fluke and will not continue.

Paris Threatens to Ban Escooter Companies From Operating

In an attempt to control the explosion in incidents involving escooters, the city of Paris is threatening to ban all rentals unless companies agree to abide by a code of conduct.

The problem lies not with the companies themselves, but the riders. There are over 15,000 dockless scooters operating in Paris, and the number is poised to double very soon.

Riders are not following city rules regarding scooter use, often riding them on sidewalks instead of city streets. Because rentals can literally be left anywhere, when customers are done, they are leaving them in parking spaces, blocking sidewalks, and even throwing them in the river.

Legislation is in the works to impose stricter fines on riders that fail to follow the rules, but since a majority of riders are tourists, it’s hard to say how much control the government (or the scooter companies) have over the problem.

Waymo Picks Up 1,000th Customer in Self-Driving Taxi Service

It’s tough to be in the autonomous taxi business. Waymo’s self-driving taxi service reported picking up its 1,000th customer two weeks ago.

The Insurance Journal noted that this shows very slow growth for autonomous taxis, but we beg to differ. Yes, it took six months to deliver 1,000 people to and fro, but the service only operates in Phoenix, which is not as densely populated as other US cities.

Once Waymo works out the bugs in its service and starts operating in major markets like San Francisco and Washington, DC, the autonomous taxi sector will grow quickly.

It’s true there is no fully autonomous vehicle in production today, but with innovative companies like Tesla and others hard at work, we’re likely to see this change sooner than we think.

Indian Grocery Delivery Service Lands $200M Investment

On demand grocery delivery startup Grofers scored a $200 million investment round led by Softbank Vision Fund.

The five-year-old company delivers to 13 cities in Indian from over 5,000 stores. This is the largest funding round ever for grocery delivery in India, making Grofers a viable alternative to big box grocery delivery services from Amazon India and Walmart’s Flipkart service.

As grocery on demand services heat up in both the US and abroad, it will be interesting to see if the services will revolutionize the way the world shops. Based on the current landscape, it looks like this is definitely one of the most lucrative sectors.


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Uber Ipo

Lyft Releases Its First Earnings Report, Uber Prepares for IPO as Rideshare Drivers Strike Worldwide

This Week In Mobility – May 10, 2019

This week, Uber’s IPO is finally here as Lyft releases its first quarterly earnings report as a publicly traded company. In other news: Is Elon Musk out of his mind?

Lyft First Quarter Earnings Report is No Surprise

Lyft is officially a publicly traded company, and posted its first quarterly earnings report showing a loss of $9.02 per share. We’ve reported before about Lyft’s lack of revenue and falling stock prices, so it’s no surprise that the company’s first report was less than stellar.

Can Lyft and Uber prove to investors that there is money to be made in the rideshare industry? While many financial experts are skeptics, evidence shows that Uber and Lyft are transforming the way the world deals with commuting. Even US government transit authorities are using rideshare companies to avoid having to replace aging vehicles and handle other issues.

So yes, there’s money to be made, but investors shouldn’t expect the same quick returns they get from other publicly traded companies that are already profitable.

Rideshare Drivers Strike Just in Time for Uber’s IPO

On Wednesday, drivers from both Lyft and Uber logged off their driver apps and banded together to protest mistreatment from rideshare companies worldwide.

Because rideshare drivers are considered contractors and not employees, they are not able to benefit from basic employee rights such as minimum wage, Social Security (for US drivers), and other benefits.

The timing of the strike is a precarious one for Uber, as it is in the midst of setting share prices and preparing for today’s IPO. While it may seem like business as usual for Uber, the strikes may be why experts believe that prices will fall around the midpoint of their sale price range of $44 to $50. In addition to the strike, the recent NYC driver hiring freeze has hit both Uber and Lyft pretty hard in terms of future growth.

Uber and Lyft are the world’s largest rideshare companies, and many drivers work for both organizations.

Love Using Bird? Now You Can Buy One of Their Scooters

E-scooter rentals are doing so well that micro-mobility company Bird is betting that you’ll want to buy your own.

Bird announced Wednesday that the Bird One scooter, expected to be ready for sale this summer, will sell to anyone who wants to buy their own for $1,299.

Sound ridiculous? After you recover from the high price tag, it’s important to note that e-scooter rentals are booming worldwide. California-based Bird is making a smart move by taking advantage of their current popularity and announcing the scooters are now available for sale.

Back in April, Bird rival Lime announced that their scooters have weathered more than 50 million trips since they launched in 2017. But sharing scooters isn’t always ideal for some. Yes, expensive scooters are definitely a gamble. There’s a big jump between a $15 scooter rental and a $1,299 investment in an electric vehicle.

But handling the worldwide commuting crisis is going to involve risky moves from companies like Bird who are willing to experiment with new ways to get people around.

The Autonomous Vehicle Industry and Elon Musk Go Head-to-Head

Is Elon Musk a visionary or just plain crazy? Autonomous car experts are abuzz this week about Elon Musk’s latest claim: that Tesla will have a million fully autonomous “robo-taxis” on the road by 2020.

Technology publication The Next Web pointed out that “there isn’t a single consumer-facing vehicle with level five autonomy in production today.”

So yes, visionary seems a little far-fetched in this situation. Elon Musk is a highly intelligent guy, but he is a businessman. His Tesla taxi idea has legs, given the fact that Tesla owners are already renting their cars out on Turo.

A million fully autonomous Teslas making money for owners while they sleep by 2020 is not happening. The Tesla Network will take a little longer than a few months to get up and running. For now, Tesla owners will continue to recoup their investment in their vehicles by sharing them 11 days a month with “less fortunate” drivers.

On Demand Logistics Company Flexe Raises $43M

Logistics is quietly coming up in the on demand industry as a way for retailers to make money delivering goods. With heavy hitters like Amazon investing in their own delivery network, smaller retailers are looking for ways to compete.

Venture capitalists recognize the importance of competition, and are investing in ways to help retailers without deep pockets deliver items as efficiently as possible.

Tuesday, on demand warehouse startup Flexe announced a $43M Series B funding round to help companies with “‘pop-up’ storage space” needs. The company compares itself to Airbnb.

Instead of finding rooms for vacationers like Airbnb, Flexe finds temporary warehouse space for companies to efficiently move products to consumers. This model is wonderful for growing ecommerce companies that don’t have physical warehouse space or distribution partners where they need them.

Image Credit: Picture Lake


Uber S-1 Filing

Uber Files For IPO, Grab Looks to Expand, And Lyft Gets Divvy With It

This Week in Mobility – April 12, 2019

This week, Grab is seeking even more money to expand operations, competition is brimming in the autonomous car industry, and Uber released its S-1 IPO filing.

Uber Files For Likely May IPO

After the market closed Thursday, Uber released its IPO prospectus. The company will list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker Uber. While Uber lost $1.8 billion in 2018, that was a sharp decrease from the $2.7 billion the company lost in 2017. Uber could be valued in the range of $120 billion, and shares could start trading within a month.

A number of firms look to profit handsomely from the IPO. Softbank’s Vision Fund is Uber’s largest shareholder, owning over 16% of the company, followed by Benchmark Capital, which owns 11% of Uber. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, owns about 5% of Uber, and ousted CEO Travis Kalanick still owns about 8.5% of the company he founded.

As Uber prepares for its upcoming IPO, it has been aggressively expanding in order to prove itself to be profitable. But expansion comes at a cost, and Uber lost over a billion dollars last year. It will be interesting to see if investors respond to Uber more favorably than they did during Lyft’s recent IPO.

Read the full Uber S-1 Filing.

Grab Seeking Further Investment to Expand

Ridehailing giant Grab is raising another $2 billion, primarily from Softbank’s Vision Fund, to fund expansion in Southeast Asia. The company just raised $4.5 billion from its recently concluded Series H round, from a group of investors including Softbank, Toyota, and Hyundai.

According to Grab CEO Anthony Tan, the additional money will be spread equally across its ridesharing, payment, and food delivery services. He states the funds will allow the company to manage the rapid growth that has it on track to be four times larger than its main competitor Go-Jek in Indonesia by the end of the year.

So far, Softbank has invested over $20 billion in ridesharing companies. They are also indirectly connected to Grab competitor Go-Jek through

Uber Launches JUMP Scooters in Baltimore as Bird Doubles Prices

Uber received a touch of good luck this week. The company launched its JUMP scooter service in Baltimore right as its competitor Bird almost doubled its rates nationwide, including Baltimore.

“Similar to ride-hailing, Big Macs and cups of coffee, our pricing now varies by city,” Bird spokeswoman Mackenzie Long said in a statement.

JUMP scooters are free to unlock and cost 15 cents a minute. Bird scooters raised its prices from 15 to 29 cents earlier this week.


Baltimore’s pilot program for dockless scooter sharing currently allows up to six service providers and 12,000 vehicles on its city streets. It’s unclear if those numbers will change when the program ends on April 30.

Though the pilot program ends soon, it’s clear that the city is committed to allowing dockless vehicles to continue operating on city streets. Last month, the City Council approved permanent legislation for both scooters and bikes.

Uber Expands B2B Offerings On Heels of IPO

After several months of beta testing, Uber unveiled its latest B2B offering on Tuesday.

Uber Vouchers is a program that allows businesses to provide free or discounted rides to their customers. The program is available to organizations that already provide transportation services, such as bars, sports teams, and insurance companies.

Companies can send vouchers to their customers digitally, and customers can redeem the vouchers in the Uber app. Unlike other transportation services, organizations only pay for rides after they are redeemed plus relevant administrative fees.

Competition Is Heating Up in the Autonomous Car Industry

The explosion in AI has created a race for monetization in the autonomous car industry. Waymo is the current acknowledged leader when it comes to self-driving cars. However, it has many challengers not just in the U.S. (GM, Tesla), but across Europe and in China.

In China, Baidu, the search engine giant, and, an autonomous vehicle startup, are racing to catch up to the major players in Japan, Europe and the U.S.

While both of them have racked up a significant amount of miles on the road, seems to have a slight edge in miles driven. However, Baidu has partnered with Ford, a self-driving frontrunner. Regardless, both still lag behind Waymo, GM, and Mercedes when it comes to miles driven, as well as underlying technology.

TTTech, a European company that creates autonomous car technology, believes that data sharing is the key to winning the race to mass commercialization of autonomous cars. They believe that sharing data with everyone will change transportation as we know it. TTTech is familiar with the advances by Tesla, but believe its solution will overtake Tesla.

Whoever wins the race, it’s likely to be several years before autonomous vehicles are commonplace in most cities.

Lyft Receives Green Light to Take Over Chicago’s Divvy Bikesharing Program

Lyft was officially approved to take over the Divvy Bikesharing program on Monday, and Uber is uber-unhappy about the deal.

Uber lobbyists spent a significant amount of money on misinformation about the upcoming contract award, including a full-page ad in the Chicago Sun-Times stating the contract should not be exclusive. This information is false, as the contract was up for bid in 2012.

In 2018, Lyft bought Motivate, the company that won the original contract in 2012. In response to Uber’s lobbying to be able to bid on the Divvy contract again, Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld stated that they chose to continue with Lyft because the program will remain in public control.

The new contract will expand Divvy citywide to 800 docking stations and 16,500 bikes by 2021.

That’s the news for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s roundup.


Bolt Scooters Madrid

Lyft Stock Falls Twice Since IPO, Bolt Comes To Madrid & Miami

This Week In Mobility – April 5, 2019

This week, the mobility sector is abuzz after Lyft’s IPO last week. What does Lyft’s IPO mean for similar companies going public this year? Find out below.

Lyft Stock Falls (Again) Less Than One Week After IPO

Less than a week after Lyft’s IPO, the stock is already falling. Shares in Lyft began trading at $72 during its IPO, spiked around 20%, and started falling the next day.

According to financial expert Kevin O’Leary, Lyft is a “treacherous” stock to invest in because the company is not making money.

On Tuesday, Seaport Securities initiated coverage of Lyft with a sell rating. with a target price of $42 per share.

“Despite the optics of vehicles being an underutilized asset, we believe people will continue to own their own vehicles as primary transportation and instead rely on the ridesharing services as a convenient supplement.” stated Seaport in a note to investors.

Ric Edelman, Co-Founder of Edelman Financial Engines, agrees with Seaport’s recommendation to sell. “We’re not telling any of our clients to buy into these IPOs,” he said.

The problems with Lyft’s IPO means that companies like Uber and Postmates are going to have a rough road ahead of them. It’s not surprising that Lyft’s stock is falling so quickly.

The only people making money are the ones selling the stocks. It’s true that ridesharing services have revolutionized transportation as we know it, but unless these companies can generate more revenue, their current business model will not be sustainable in the long-term.

Bolt Brings Dockless Scooters To Madrid

Ridesharing service Bolt (formerly Taxify) is continuing their dockless scooter expansion. After launching in Paris and a couple of other markets last year, the company began offering their dockless scooters in Madrid this week.

As with Bird Lyft, and Lime scooters, customers use their smartphones to unlock scooters at docks around the city, and then leave them on the sidewalk (hopefully out of the way) when finished. The rides cost 15 cents per minute plus a one-euro minimum charge.

Like many other ridehailing companies, Bolt is shifting away from taxi-like services and moving into the scooter market. This is a smart move since ridehailing companies have been continually losing money.

In addition to rebranding, Bolt recently hired a former Spotify executive. The company was valued at $1B last year after raising $175M in funding. With the addition of service in Madrid and participation in Miami’s new pilot program to bring electric scooters back to the city, Bolt is intent on becoming a player in the very competitive scooter industry.

Wayve Unveils “World’s First” Autonomous Car Technology

UK startup Wayve made headlines this week when they announced an innovative new autonomous car technology.

“After 10 years of commercial self-driving car development, over 10 million autonomous miles and $5B per year spent, we still do not have commercial self-driving vehicles on our roads. To turn what is currently a fantasy into a reality, we need to take a different approach,” Wayve stated in a blog post.

Until now, autonomous vehicles required engineers to hand-code complex rules to “teach” self-driving cars how to navigate streets and avoid collisions. Sensors placed in strategic locations serve as the car’s eyes and the vehicle’s computers compare this data against their rules to safely arrive at their destination. HD maps are also built by engineers and fed to the car’s computer. To improve driving, more sensors and engineering are required.

wayve autonomous vehicle


Wayve’s technology is much less expensive than the current standard. Instead of hand-coded rulebooks and costly sensors, end to end machine learning allows autonomous vehicles to “learn to drive like a human” using only some basic cameras and a satellite navigation map.

The AI learns to improve its driving through experience every time a safety driver intercedes. Wayve tested the vehicle in Cambridge on a road never used before.

By developing a less expensive technology than what’s currently available, commercial autonomous car service may become a reality sooner than expected. On the other hand, Google, GM, and most major automakers have been working on self-driving vehicle programs for years, and none of them have fully cracked the code yet.

California On Demand Rideshare Service Combines Convenience With Impressionist Art

The San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) unveiled a new rideshare service on Tuesday for area passengers called Van Go. Passengers travel within four designated zones and schedule pickup via phone, online or mobile app.

The eight passenger van fleet is a rolling work of art, with replicas of Vincent Van Gogh paintings on the side of each one.

Instead of hiring a ridesharing company to handle transportation, the San Joaquin RTD chose to build their own mobile app, reservation system, and maintain their own fleet of vehicles.

It’s too early to tell how well the program is doing, but if it is successful, it could become a model for other public transportation systems. Of course, they’ll still have to compete with Uber and Lyft’s public transit programs.

That’s the news for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s roundup.


Lyft ipo stock price

Uber Buys Careem, Lyft Prepares for IPO And Launches Driver Services

This Week In On Demand― March 28, 2019: Lyft IPO Edition

This week, Uber confirms it is buying Careem, Lyft makes headlines with new driver services in advance of today’s IPO, and a new Chinese ridesharing service may give Didi Chuxing a run for its money.

Lyft Unveils New Driver Services Program

In the wake of its upcoming IPO, Lyft unveiled a new Driver Service program that offers services ranging from fee-free bank accounts to discounts on car maintenance.

The Lyft Direct online bank account gives drivers access to their money immediately after rides are complete, no fees, and cash back on everyday purchases including 2% on gas and 1% on groceries.

Lyft opened its first Driver Service Center on Wednesday in San Francisco. The service center promises drivers will save up to 50% on car repairs and have repairs completed twice as fast as comparable shops. The company also expanded its Express Drive program, where drivers can rent vehicles at a discount.

While these services are attractive to potential Lyft drivers, current drivers of the ride-hailing service are frustrated with the recent reduction in pay.

Uber Announces Purchase of Careem

Ride-sharing giant Uber confirmed Wednesday that it is buying its largest middle-eastern competitor Careem for $3.1 billion. The sale is expected close in Q1 2020.

This is a particularly important win for Uber, as the company is preparing for an April IPO. Experts have been doubtful about Uber’s ability to scale globally. The company came under heavy fire after selling operations in China, Russia, and Southeast Asia.

Careem will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, and Careem’s three co-founders will continue to run the service after the acquisition.

Even though this is a big win for Uber, it may not be enough to win the hearts of cautious investors. The company still has stiff competition in important global markets like India and Latin America.

Uber buys careem


New Chinese Ride Sharing Service T3 Set to Topple Didi Chuxing

The Chinese ridesharing market is the largest in the world, estimated to be worth about $23 billion. Didi Chuxing is China’s largest rideshare provider, raking in 90% of market share. Even Uber couldn’t get a foothold in the country.

But a new service is challenging Didi’s position. T3 is the brainchild of a dozen groups, including automakers like BMW and tech powerhouse Alibaba. The group raised about $1.45 billion to invest in carsharing services running on renewable energy.

Will this new ridesharing service be able to compete? With significant backing from a number of investors with deep pockets and automakers at the helm, probably so.

Lyft Trading Begins Today After Weeklong Roadshow Courting Investors

After months of anticipation, Lyft stock begins trading today at an IPO price of $72 per share. The company has been on the road for the past week, wooing potential investors and moving meetings to avoid driver protests.

On Monday, the roadshow scheduled to meet at the Omni Hotel in San Francisco was moved to The Olympic Club instead. Drivers frustrated with recent rate cuts came out in the rain and protested the IPO, unaware the meeting had been moved because “the space wasn’t big enough.”

Investors don’t seem to be too impressed with Lyft’s message of reaching 20% margins. Some in attendance at this week’s roadshows told media outlets Lyft has no timeline on when it will hit its goals.

Just like Uber, which is also making big moves in advance of its April IPO, Lyft is losing money. Last year’s losses totaled $911 million on $2.1 billion in revenue. With numbers like that, Lyft’s IPO may turn out to be as disappointing as Facebook.

Oak Street Health Partners With Lyft to Provide Healthcare Transportation Services

While Uber seems to snag up partnerships with transit authorities, Lyft is looking to healthcare. Earlier this week it announced an expansion of its partnership with Indianapolis-based primary care provider Oak Street Health to provide rides for Medicare patients. The pilot program began last year and has met with positive feedback.

According to Health Leaders Media, Lyft has already shared its plans to grow its business through its existing relationships with hospitals and other healthcare transportation providers.

This is a good move for Lyft and may help it ease the fears of investors who are skeptical about how Lyft is going to increase market share and make good on the 20% margins it claims it can achieve.

Lime Pulling Bike Sharing Programs Out of Several Cities

E-mobility company Lime pulled bike sharing programs out of several cities, including Green Bay, WI; Wake Forest and Durham, NC; Hartford, CO; and several other smaller markets.

The company states it is focusing more on its electric scooter market. Given that more cities are tightening regulations on electric scooters or banning them altogether, companies like Lime may be out of business before they even got started.


Lyft Ipo - Should you buy?

Should You Buy Lyft’s Stock When They IPO?

One bullish analyst from a top Wall Street firm gave Lyft, Inc. its first buy rating last week, with shares set to start trading on March 29.

The No. 2 player in the ride-sharing market — second to Uber — “has made impressive market share gains within the U.S. as demand for ride-sharing continues to grow,” analyst Tom White of D.A. Davidson wrote in a note about Lyft’s prospects, as reported by Bloomberg News. “The continued population migration to cities and the rising costs of personal car ownership will further drive adoption of ‘Transportation as a Service’ models over the coming years.”

With a valuation of $23 billion and a reported increase in market share growth from 22 percent to 39 percent during the past two years, the San Francisco-based company has many eager investors clamoring to buy its shares when it debuts on the stock exchange March 29 (trading as NASDAQ: LYFT).

Others are more hesitant to make a move on Lyft, citing deep losses, increasing competition, and limited shareholder voting rights as three main concerns, according to The Motley Fool. The company itself has described the 30.77 million shares it will make available through its initial public offering as oversubscribed.

Given these mixed reactions and Lyft’s own assessment, should you buy Lyft stock when they IPO?

It appears that many investors are willing to turn a blind eye to uncertainty with regard to Lyft’s profitability outlook and its future strategy for self-driving cars in order to take part in the first and the biggest, most high-profile tech IPO in 2019 (rival Uber is planning to kick off its initial public offering in April). If you consider yourself this type of investor, then Lyft may bring a mighty reward — or a major loss.

For the more measured, financially-conservative types unmoved by buzz, hype, and anticipation, there are several factors to consider before investing in Lyft.


In its updated U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Lyft priced its 30.77 million shares between $62 and $68 per share, which, the company estimates, will bring in around $2 billion in cash that will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes. Based on these numbers, Lyft’s IPO would give the company a $23 billion valuation.

At an expected $65 price per share, Lyft is valued at about 5.4 times enterprise value to sales, which White considers “reasonable given Lyft’s growth profile.” Given the popularity of ride-sharing, growing market demand, and the buzz surrounding Lyft’s IPO, the analyst believes Lyft’s target share price should be $10 higher than the IPO’s midpoint average and set his buy recommendation at $75 per share — a 15 percent premium over the IPO’s pricing range. White’s share valuation is based on a 6.4 times 2019 enterprise value to sales multiple, according to Yahoo! Finance.

White’s share valuation may be on point given that many initial public offerings typically price shares at a 10 to 15 percent discount to the company’s valuation. Lyft’s share price is expected to be finalized on March 28, according to The New York Times— one day before trading begins.

A higher share price could mean higher rewards in the long run … or maybe not. According to venture capitalist Alan Patricof, an early big tech investor, the initial stock price of an IPO is usually driven by excitement and takes a while to settle.

“It’s a confusing time,” said Patricof, the co-founder and managing director of Greycroft LLC, in an interview with CNN.

Potential Risks

Lyft has admitted that it may never become a profitable company. In mandatory disclosures filed with the SEC during the IPO process, the ride-sharing company reported a net loss of $911.3 million last year on revenue totaling $2.2 billion, according to The Washington Post.

“We have a history of net losses and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability in the future,” Lyft disclosed in its SEC filing, also admitting that its limited operating history and evolving business “makes it difficult to evaluate our future prospects.”

Lyft’s $911.3 million loss in 2018, Yahoo! Finance reports, “was much steeper than its 2016 and 2017 losses, which had been $682.8 and $688.3 million, respectively.”

In his recommendation, White noted, “Lyft has a more focused geographical footprint and product portfolio than its largest competitor, but Lyft appears to be several years away from profitability.”

In addition to an uncertain future with regard to profitability, Lyft could also be upended by emerging competition. Aside from rival Uber, Lyft competes against less popular services, like Gett/Juno and Via as well as traditional taxicabs. In its IPO filing, the company noted that growing demand for shared scooters and bikes also poses a threat to the overall industry, though, not necessarily to Lyft. Lyft shielded itself against this threat by pouring millions into the acquisition of Motivate, which made Lyft the country’s biggest scooter and bike share operator in a deal that was valued at around $250 million, according to The Washington Post.

Among 70 potential downsides Lyft outlined for investors in its IPO filing with regard to its operation and the ride-sharing industry, the company also listed its heavy reliance on independent contractors working as drivers, uncertainty over the popularity of self-driving cars, and potential regulation over the concern of increasingly crowded streets and curb space as additional risks that it — as well as the ride-sharing industry — faces. A court ruling, for example, could force Lyft and Uber to classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, bringing with it additional costs.

Another cause for potential risk — if not also a concern — is the limited voting rights shareholders will have. Lyft’s co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer will retain control of the company “thanks to their ownership of a special class of shares that gives them 20 times the voting power of regular shareholders, despite each of them owning less than 3 percent of the company,” according to The New York Times.

A coalition of institutional investors questioned the arrangement, saying it “imposes a significant gap between those who exercise control over the company, and those who have economic exposure to the consequences of that control.”


Possible Rewards

In its IPO filing, Lyft disclosed that both its revenue and market share had jumped substantially on account of Uber’s disastrous public relations efforts, which led to the departure of Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. Uber’s setback catapulted Lyft’s market share to 39 percent in December 2018, nearly double what it was two years earlier. Lyft’s revenues increased nearly sevenfold, jumping from $343 million in 2016 to 2.2 billion in 2018.

Despite its strong numbers, Lyft can’t bank its future success on Uber’s shortcomings. Instead, the company has turned to the industry itself, highlighting in its IPO filing how it stands to benefit from continued growth of the on-demand car and driver business model. Like Uber, Lyft is betting on a driverless future, investing millions into research and development for self-driving cars, which could be less costly than splitting fares with drivers. While other tech giants, like Alphabet’s Waymo, are trying to capitalize on this trend, too, Lyft — like Uber — can claim an advantage.

The Bottom Line

U.S. consumers are spending roughly $1.2 trillion every year on personal transportation and the potential for continued growth remains. According to The Washington Post, U.S. market opportunity for ride-sharing companies could reach $105 billion by 2029, or “about four times the size of the historical domestic taxi and limousine market.”

Some analysts have cautioned against reading too much into the risks because there are too many assumptions about Lyft and about the ride-sharing industry to quantify.

Given all of the uncertainties and all of the hype surrounding Lyft’s IPO, the opening bell March 29 might ring in Lyft’s stock price at $75 just as White predicted. Those looking to turn a quick profit off of Lyft shares likely won’t. Those who can tolerate risk and are willing to stick with Lyft for the long haul, riding out market volatility, likely will.

For now, though, the risks seem to outweigh the rewards with Lyft. Whether you decide to go all in on its IPO shares or remain sidelined, at the very least, experts say Lyft’s public offering will test just how much Wall Street values the ride-sharing business model.