The "sharing economy" model has taken the transportation world by storm, whether it's Uber Technologies' original ridesharing application or Uber-inspired digital offerings like crowdsourced parcel delivery apps and freight matching platforms.
Now, the industry is preparing to introduce a new twist—a service that allows rideshare drivers to generate additional revenue through smartphone-based sales of goods directly inside the car. "Why deliver goods to stores or households when the consumer is already sitting in your back seat?" investors ask.
New York-based Cargo, which calls itself a "provider of in-car commerce to the rideshare economy," recently raised $22 million in funding to scale up its business and add digital entertainment services to its offerings. Since launching in July 2017, the firm has activated more than 12,000 drivers across 10 cities, which equates to more unique stores in North America than the 7-Eleven convenience-store chain has, Cargo claims.
With its new funding, Cargo will expand on its partnerships with brands like Kellogg's, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, The Coca-Cola Co., and Red Bull on in-car sampling and sales. The plan is to help rideshare drivers earn extra income while providing a premium experience to their riders, who can now load up on snacks, aspirin, or energy drinks without having to stop at a store.
"We're thrilled to partner with @foundersfund, @emilmichael, @joshmohrer, @CRCMVentures, @RosecliffVC, Coatue, and Aquiline for our Series A to bring Cargo to millions of drivers and riders globally. The next generation on-trip experience is just around the corner." — Jeff Cripe pic.twitter.com/hzHQMnhO8d— Cargo (@GetCargoToday) September 27, 2018