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Sidecar launches its own same-day delivery service

The company has been testing deliveries for six months, expects them to be 50% of business this year

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
February 9, 2015
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3bf3

Uber may have taken itself out of the same-day delivery service (for the most part, anyway) for at least time being, but now one of its competitors is ready to pick up the slack in a big, big way.

Ridesharing company Sidecar has been testing out delivery service in the Bay Area for the last six months it revealed, and has, so far been a big success. So the company has just launched Sidecar Deliveries, it was announced on Monday, a new program that allows third party companies to use Sidecar vehicles to deliver their goods,

'By combining people and packages, Sidecar offers companies same-day delivery at prices that are 80% cheaper than traditional services, and cuts delivery times in half," Sidecar wrote. 

The reason that companies should use Sidecar Delivery is that the API cuts the cost down to a fifth of the price, and delivery time by half.

We’ve figured out the fastest and lowest cost same-day delivery approach and it’s a win for e-commerce companies, drivers and riders. Sidecar Deliveries makes the cost of same-day delivery dramatically cheaper for companies who integrate with our API — up to 1/5 the price of traditional shippers and cuts the delivery time in half.

One its pilot partners, online ordering service EAT24, said that its delivery time was reduced by almost half, and that its restaurants saw their revenue double. As for its drivers, according to Sidecar, the program allows them to use their time more efficiently and for them to make more money.

"During our test period, Sidecar drivers earned 75% more when they delivered both people and packages. Riders also reap the benefits of this people and packages combo because there will be more drivers available, lower wait times and even lower prices."

Of course, same day delivery is not the easiest business to conquer, as Uber found out recently. 

In August of last year, it released two pilot programs, one for food delivery called uberFRESH, and the other called Uber Corner Store in Washington DC, as a way for users to get over 100 items, such as allergy medicine, diapers and toothpaste, delivered right to their door.

In December, the on-demand car service rebranded its delivery service as UberEssentials, calling it "a limited-time-only experiment." And that experiment, presumably, failed because it was shuttered in January. 

Sidecar seems to have figured out the formula, though, by renting out its cars for third party delivery, working with companies in the e-commerce, hot food, flowers and groceries spaces, rather than trying to become a delivery service in an of itself.

Sidecar has already seen what it calls 'explosive growth" in the same-day delivery space, with it already representing 10% of its ride volume in San Francisco. And it only expects it to get bigger from there, as it will be rolling the service out nationwide this coming year

"Same-day delivery will represent half of our business by the end of 2015. Our vision is that one day any business will be able to take an order and get it to the customer in an hour, and Sidecar will be the service that powers this capability," Sidecar said.

Founded in 2012, the San Francisco-based Sidecar is also available in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Charlotte, Boston and Washington, D.C.

The company has raised roughly $35 million in venture capital funding from investors that include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Google Ventures, Spring Ventures, Huron River Ventures, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, First Step Fund, Jeff Clarke, Lisa Gansky, Robert Goldberg, Jared Kopf, Konstantin Othmer, Mark Pincus, Martin Roscheisen, Josh Silverman and Thomas Varghese.

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