Sidecar is shutting down -- or pivoting yet again, depending on how you look at it.
Founded in 2011 as a ridesharing startup that later added courier operations as it fell behind Uber and Lyft in popularity and funding, the company announced in a Medium post Tuesday that it will no longer offer rides and deliveries.
Describing the move as a "turning point" for the company, CEO Sunil Paul wrote that the company is working on "strategic alternatives and [laying] the groundwork for the next big thing." Rides and deliveries will cease at 2 p.m. Pacific time on Dec. 31.
Paul touted the company's role in what he described as a "series of firsts" in the transportation sector, as it pivoted to change its business model and added delivery options.
"We pivoted to a Marketplace model where people could choose their ride and drivers set their own price. We were the first to introduce important innovations like Destination, turn-by-turn directions, Shared ETA, Shared Rides and Back-to-Back rides. Last February we launched Sidecar Deliveries and became the #1 business-to-business delivery service in the country in a matter of months," he wrote.
Apparently being a pioneer was not synonymous with being sustainable for the startup. Ride-hailing app competitors Uber and Lyft raced past Sidecar in funding and popularity. Uber has raised more than $6 billion in venture capital, versus a mere $35 million for Sidecar, according to Crunchbase. Postmates, meanwhile, posed hot competition in delivery.
Paul insisted in his post that Sidecar was not giving up on itself as a business. "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," he wrote. He did not specify what exactly the company will do next.
Sidecar spokesperson Margaret Ryan tells Inc., "We are not commenting beyond the Medium post. I will be in touch once we have more to tell."