Sidecar, the on-demand car service that was supposed to compete with Lyft and Uber, is shutting down at the end of this year, Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul wrote on Medium. In August, Sidecar basically threw in the towel on ride sharing and put a lot of effort into delivery services, with most of the company focusing on delivery-related services. But it looks like that didn’t work, either. On December 31 at 2pm PT, Sidecar will officially stop offering rides and deliveries.
Although this is the end of rides and deliveries, Sidecar apparently isn’t totally done. Instead, the team will “work on strategic alternatives and lay the groundwork for the next big thing,” Paul wrote. He added, “it’s by no means the end of the journey for the company.”
Paul also noted that Sidecar had a “significant capital disadvantage.” It’s true. Lyft has raised $1.26 billion and Uber has raised over $10 billion. Sidecar has only raised $35 million in funding from Avalon Ventures, SV Angel, Union Square Ventures, and several others.
Last September, USV partner Fred Wilson wrote about doubling down on the firm’s investment in Sidecar. At the time, he was “very excited by the potential of Shared Rides,” a product that Sidecar had recently launched at the time. In February, Wilson wrote about Sidecar’s move into deliveries. He seemed optimistic that Sidecar’s new innovation, which he dubbed “People plus packages,” was a smart move.
When asked for comment on Sidecar shutting down its rides and deliveries service, Wilson said, “I am really excited for the team and what is next for them,” he wrote in an email today to TechCrunch.