Ride-Sharing Start-up SideCar Raises $10 Million
Ride-sharing app provider SideCar raised $10 million on Wednesday, in a Series A round led by Google Ventures and Lightspeed Venture.
SideCar CEO Sunil Paul told Inc. that his San Francisco-based company will use the funds to double its 20-member staff, add two key executive positions and offer its service in more cities. SideCar previously raised $1.25 million in venture capital funding.
Launched in June, SideCar wants to push the future mode of transportation in a "sustainable, community-driven direction," according to its website. Through its iPhone and Android mobile apps, the company has connected more than 50,000 drivers and riders.
"It's not like a taxi," Paul says. "It's like getting a ride from a friend."
The company takes a 20 percent cut of suggested payments (the payment amount is automatically set by the company based on similar rides), according to AllThingsD. But payment is voluntary. Those who don't pay, however, risk scoring a bad rating--and missing out on another ride.
In August, the California Public Utilities Commission hit SideCar with a cease-and-desist order. The letter, posted on the company's blog, states that they lack the proper permits and authority to run a "charter-party carrier.
Paul says the PUC mischaracterized SideCar as an automobile service provider. "That's not what we do," he said. "We don't own any vehicles and we don't have contracted drivers." Forbes reports that two other ride-sharing app startups, Lyft and Tickengo, also received the letters.