With Uber and Lyft already suffering under the massive pressure of lawsuits, CO2 footprints, unhappy drivers and now, coronavirus threats, one innovative new startup is forging full-speed ahead with global expansion plans and a new acquisition that promises it major new market share.
Last week, Facedrive Inc. (TSXV: FD), the first Canadian peer-to-peer, eco-friendly and socially responsible ride-sharing network, acquired 100% HiRide Share Ltd in a share exchange agreement that will immediately position Facedrive to corner the Canadian market by adding HiRide’s 20,000+ strong long-distance commuter network to Facedrive’s first-ever carbon neutral first-and-last-mile ride-sharing business.
Both companies do what the ride-sharing industry has failed to do until now: They operate on “people and planet first” principles, turning the explosive and highly polluting ride-sharing into a service that leaves behind a low carbon footprint.
“The acquisition of HiRide is a move of high-level strategic significance for Facedrive. Not only does it increase our global expansion power several times, but it adds a broad case of commuter customers directly to our first- and last-mile ride-sharing app. HiRide is another shining example of the power of Waterloo, Ontario’s ‘Silicon Valley’, and the innovative ideas featured on ‘Dragon’s Den’ (the Canadian version of ‘Shark Tank’). From the outset, Facedrive has sought to support and incubate emerging technologies in this Transportation as a Service (TaaS) space,” Facedrive CEO Sayan Navaratnam said in a statement.
“Not only does HiRide share our principles of environmental and social responsibility in the sharing space, but its targeting of the extensive university and education market space for ride-sharing is also in lockstep with Facedrive’s global expansion plans,” added Navaratnam.
Dragons, Sharks, and Car Pooling’s Waterloo
Waterloo is Canada’s Silicon Valley, and the ‘Dragon’s Den’ is its ‘Shark Tank’. HiRide was one of the hottest companies to ever appear on Dragon’s Den - so hot, in fact, that after their Season 13 debut, they even refused a deal they were offered because they knew what they had was golden.
While Facedrive is the evolution in first-and-last-mile ride-sharing, HiRide is the evolution in carpooling. Its focus is on long-distance travel, and it all came about because of a major gap in convenient and affordable transportation sharing options for students going to and from their hometowns and universities.
HiRide has already completed its AI engines and its app is fully functional and easy to use, offering a simple, safe way for commuters to organize long-distance carpooling. But there’s also another twist that removes any stigma carpooling might have had in the past: HiRide uses it’s AI engines to improve social interaction and to turn commuting into much more than just a safe way to get from Point A to Point B: It takes the boring out of the ride by pairing commuters based on their profiles and preferences.
“HiRide is an innovative, first-of-its-kind car-pooling app that seeks to change the face of transportation by providing safe and social rides for longer-distance commuters. From an environmental perspective, we envision a world where driving is sustainable and car-pooling is an answer to climate change. This aligns perfectly with Facedrive’s initiatives to benefit every community it enters by offering a zero-carbon method of ride-sharing. Our visions of social responsibility also align, with HiRide’s efforts to improve the social interaction and technological gaps that have kept car-pooling from becoming widespread until now, and with Facedrive’s unrivaled commitment to its drivers as integral partners in this business,” said HiRide CEO Akshat Soni.
With a network of ver 20,000 commuters, HiRide adds another high-demand segment to the Facedrive portfolio.
Now, it’s first, last and …. long mile rides.
Its principles of social responsibility ring loudly with Facedrive, which is the first ride-hailing company to recognize that a ‘people and planet first’ attitude can go hand in hand with profit.
Facedrive ride-hailing offsets any possible CO2 emissions, and for the very first time in ride-sharing history, gives customers the choice to be even more environmentally conscious.
This is innovative, state-of-the-art, technology. FD’s in-app algorithm calculates estimated CO2 emissions for each car journey and allocates an equivalent monetary value to the local organizations to plant trees. They have partnered with Forest Ontario and have planted over 3,500 trees last year in their soft launch phase.
Facedrive allows its riders to choose between EVs, hybrids and traditional cars. It’s a choice no one’s ever given to consumers, and it means that it pleases everyone. For all those riders who are fine with the conventional, Facedrive is by no means sidelining them. They’re just offsetting the related emissions.
And ride growth is soaring:
Facedrive is already being hailed as the #1 recognized eco-friendly and socially responsible TaaS (Transportation as a Service) platform, and it’s managed to partner with a Tier-1 Canadian mobile giant to build a ride-sharing ecosystem with a unique ethos and revenue model, as well as having attracted the interest of a commercial banking giant.
Nor has it gone unnoticed by celebrities, including Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Facedrive has invested in the celebrity couple’s WestBrook Global Inc., which gives them access not only to content distribution monetization on the side but also to some 120 million additional social media followers.
The biggest negative impact associated with the explosive popularity of ride-hailing is pollution.
A recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that the average (U.S.) ride-hailing trip results in 69% more pollution than whatever transportation option it displaced.
That’s a huge number, that’s scientists estimate is actually higher in densely populated areas. In this age of green investing, this is data that millennials find it hard to swallow.
But now, they don’t have to. They can take a ride with the only ride-sharing platform that plants trees along the way.
Incubating A New Mega Trend
Millennial investors are nearly twice as likely to invest in companies or funds that target specific social or environmental outcomes.
While Millennials are driving the new mega-trend of impact-investing, Facedrive is not only positioning itself directly in this path--it’s also been keeping a very close eye on Waterloo.
They’ve been looking for the next big thing to incubate, and HiRide’s evolutionary push for carpooling was the perfect fit.
Together, they’re now preparing for a global expansion with double the firepower.
Ride-sharing has already been overwhelmingly sold to the public. Facedrive and its acquisition of HiRide is the next-gen push that fixes everything that was wrong and adds everything that was missing in ride-sharing.
The acquisition comes amid the expansion of both companies into new cities, globally, and will help Facedrive deliver end-to-end service to its users, with Facedrive acting as the first and last mile for longer-distance commuters using the HiRide car-pooling app.
“Bringing the first and last miles together with long-distance commuting is a win-win for both Facedrive and HiRide, giving Facedrive immediate access to HiRide’s 20,000+ social network of car-poolers, and giving riders an end-to-end experience without interruptions,” added Soni.
Facedrive is a “people-and-planet first” ride-sharing platform, and the first to offer green transportation solutions in this space. Facedrive is committed to doing business fairly, equitably and sustainably, with a firm dedication not only to seamless customer service that offsets CO2 by planting thousands of trees and gives riders a choice between EVs, hybrids and conventional vehicles, but also to its drivers. Facedrive is a community platform designed to become the #1 recognized eco-friendly and socially responsible TaaS platform in any market that it enters. Facedrive is changing the ride-sharing narrative for the better, for everyone. For more about Facedrive, visit www.facedrive.com.
Other companies looking to join the green revolution:
Google’s parent company Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is a shining star in the tech world. Despite being one of the largest companies on the planet, in many ways it has lived up to its original “Don’t Be Evil” slogan.
First, and foremost, it has officially powered its data centers with 100% renewable energy over the last two years. A massive feat considering exactly how much data Google actually processes.
Not only is Google powering its data centers with renewable energy, it is also on the cutting edge of innovation in the industry, investing in new technology and green solutions to build a more sustainable tomorrow.
Google is even entering the self-driving vehicle space, a move that, in combination with its green initiatives, could set it apart from the competition in the not-so-distant future.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) has created its own brand of electric bikes, called Ariv. The bikes were just launched this year, but have already captured the attention of the European market.
While they err on the side of pricey, coming in at $3,800 per unit, they do boast a high top speed and can travel a modest distance on a single charge.
The kicker for many, however, is that they can fold into an easily carriable pack, making them the perfect choice for a lot of commuters. Especially in big cities like London or Berlin.
Ford (NYSE:F) is taking a different approach. It’s swooped right into the scooter market, buying Spin for a clean $100 million.
Initially deployed in San Francisco back in 2017, Spin is widely considered to be a part of the Big Three of the scooter world, along with Lime and Bird.
While Ford’s buyout of Spin made headlines, it’s certainly not the first urban transportation alternative Ford’s sunk its teeth into.
In recent years, Ford also bought commuter shuttle service Chariot, Autonomic and TransLoc, aiming to ensure that it does not miss the boat as this new movement accelerates.
By. Shawn Leggatt
**IMPORTANT! BY READING OUR CONTENT YOU EXPLICITLY AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
This publication contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this publication include that the demand for ride sharing services will grow; that the demand for environmentally conscientious ride sharing services companies in particular will grow; that Facedrive will be able to fund its capital requirements in the near term and long term; and that Facedrive will be able to carry out its business plan. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include changing governmental laws and policies; the company’s ability to obtain and retain necessary licensing in each geographical area in which it operates; the success of the company’s expansion activities; the ability of the company to attract a sufficient number of drivers to meet the demands of customer riders; the ability of the company to attract drivers who have electric vehicles and hybrid cars; the ability of the company to keep operating costs and customer charges competitive with other ride-hailing companies; and the company’s ability to continue agreements on affordable terms with existing or new tree planting enterprises. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and we assume no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
ADVERTISEMENT. This communication is not a recommendation to buy or sell securities. An affiliated company of Oilprice.com, Advanced Media Solutions Ltd, and their owners, managers, employees, and assigns (collectively “the Company”) has signed an agreement to be paid in shares to provide services to expand ridership and attract drivers in certain jurisdictions outside Canada and the United States. In addition, the owner of Oilprice.com has acquired additional shares of FaceDrive (TSX:FD.V) for personal investment. This compensation and share acquisition resulting in the beneficial owner of the Company having a major share position in FD.V is a major conflict with our ability to be unbiased, more specifically:
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