• Team Business-360°

How Uber overtook Sidecar in its race to success.



Nowadays, when you think “Taxi” you think “Uber”. Everyone is “ubering” it to work, home, the club, the coffee shop and even trips out of town. Tap your phone and your ride arrives at your doorstep. Public transport has never been easier or cooler.


However, even after having disrupted an entire industry, ridesharing companies have not had it easy. Sidecar is one such name that fell out of the market. Founded by Sunil Paul (CEO), Jahan Khanna (CTO) and Adrian Fortino, the ridesharing and delivery service app started off strong in late 2011 by establishing itself in San Francisco, LA, Seattle, Philadelphia, and later expanding to Boston, NYC, Washington DC, and more, along with a blue chip investor and even managing to raise $10 million in Series-A funding from Google Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners in 2012. But, even with all this going for them, why did Sidecar fail? - lack of marketing and complicated user experience.


Even though Sidecar was one of the pioneers in ridesharing and delivery, it failed to grasp the importance of marketing. In such a competitive market, the need to stand out from their competitors was essential. Unlike their giant competitors like Uber or Ola, they didn't invest enough to market their product and gain customers. Uber reportedly lost almost a million in its first 6 months because it mainly focused on getting new customers. Sidecar, on the other hand, did not have the backup funding to do that on a similar scale.


The other biggest reason for their downfall was the complicated user experience. For Uber, passengers were able to hail a ride with one click, but Sidecar users had to enter their destination, filter through a bunch of different drivers with different prices which was too much work for them. In a world where the customer is the king, Sidecar prioritised process over ease, while Uber prioritised their customers and ease.


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