Unable to compete with its better-financed rivals, the ride-sharing app company Sidecar, based in San Francisco, stopped operations this week.
Founded in 2012, Sidecar was the first smartphone-based ride-sharing app to win approval for passenger pick-ups at San Francisco International Airport in the fall of 2014, even before Lyft and UberX broke into that market. Sidecar operated in just a handful of cities, also including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Seattle, San Diego, Boston, Chicago, Charlotte and Washington D.C.
Earlier this year, as it struggled to survive in the passenger ride-sharing market, Sidecar tried branching out with another strategy, offering to make deliveries of groceries, restaurant meals and packages. But even that was not enough to sustain the operation.
“Nearly four years ago we invented what is now known as ‘ridesharing’ with an app that connected riders with everyday drivers in their personal vehicle,” Sidecar co-founders Sunil Paul and Jahan Khanna said in an online farewell post. “People loved it. It was safe, convenient and affordable, and it quickly caught on.”
But Sidecar was not as successful as Uber and Lyft in attracting venture capital, nor as quick to expand to new markets.
“This is the end of the road for the Sidecar ride and delivery service, but it’s by no means the end of the journey for the company,” the co-founders said, although they gave no hint of what their next venture might be.
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