Sidecar, one of the original ride-hailing services, is shutting its doors, the startups’ founders said in a blog post on Tuesday.
Although it started out strong in 2012 during the earliest days of the ride-hailing, Sidecar quickly fell behind rivals Uber and Lyft. By early this year, it had shifted to providing local delivery services to other businesses such as Yelp-owned Eat25 and cannabis delivery startup Meadow.
But even that wasn’t enough to keep up as the delivery space also became wildly competitive. Uber, Postmates, and Caviar were just some of its delivery rivals.
“Today is a turning point for Sidecar as we prepare to end our ride and delivery service so we can work on strategic alternatives and lay the groundwork for the next big thing,” co-founders Sunil Paul and Jahan Khanna wrote, adding that “it’s by no means the end of the journey for the company.”
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There are no hints as to what the company plans to do next, although sticking around the transportation industry would be a good bet. The company is considered a pioneer in ride-hailing, and it claims to be the first to create and implement features like turn-by-turn directions for drivers and shared rides (carpooling). Moreover, Sidecar holds a handful of ride-hailing patents that it could put to good use, though it’s not clear if the company plans to keep them. We’ve reached out to Sidecar and will update if we find out.
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Sidecar has raised roughly $35 million in funding from investors that include GV (formerly Google Ventures), Lightspeed Venture Partners, SV Angel, and Richard Branson.