Sidecar Squeezed Out by Uber and Lyft, Will Shut Down

Sidecar Technologies Inc CEO Sunil Paul Interview

Sunil Paul, chief executive officer of SideCar Technologies Inc.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Sidecar Technologies Inc., the third-biggest U.S. car-hailing service, said it will end its ride and delivery operations as the company is squeezed out by better-known competitors Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc.

One of the pioneers of the ride-sharing concept, Sidecar will end its service on Dec. 31, co-founders Sunil Paul and Jahan Khanna wrote in a blog post. The move will help pave the way for the "next big adventure in 2016," according to the letter.

"Shutting down the Sidecar service is a disappointment for our team and our fans," Paul and Khanna said in the letter. "The impact of our work, however, will be felt for generations to come."

Founded four years ago, Sidecar created one of the first apps to try ride-destination tracking, discounted carpooling and deliveries that placed people and packages on the same route, according to its founders. The closely held San Francisco-based company shifted from transporting passengers to goods after struggling to compete with Uber and Lyft, according to CB Insights.

"They’re competing with very heavily funded companies, and they didn’t have the same pull with drivers that these other companies might have," said Nikhil Krishnan, a technology analyst at CB Insights. "Even when it pivoted to transporting goods, it still had to compete with Postmates, and even Uber is transporting goods."

Sidecar has raised about $39 million, according to Margaret Ryan, a company spokeswoman. That number pales in comparison to venture capital raised by Uber and Lyft. Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that Uber is seeking $2.1 billion in a financing round that would value the car-booking company at $62.5 billion. Lyft, the No. 2 ride-hailing service, is currently seeking to raise $500 million, according to fundraising documents obtained by Bloomberg last month. Sidecar’s investors include Union Square Ventures, Google Ventures, and Richard Branson.

(Company corrects amount raised in last paragraph of story published Dec. 29.)
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