The fate of the $2-trillion auto industry is now sealed: In this double disruption that’s defying the global pandemic, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has gained over 433%, sailing past a $1,500 share price and a $300-billion valuation.
And absolutely everyone tied to this industry is catching the tailwinds.
EV startup Fisker opted to go public right at this time, seeing the industry writing on the wall.
Blink Charging (NASDAQ:BLNK) has gained 257% since June and is still climbing.
But investors eyeing more--and less obvious ways--to profit from the EV surge is this tie-in: The company that upstaged giant Uber and Lyft on the ESG Investing scene to bring the world the first-ever ride-hailing platform with an EV angle.
The next in line that could benefit from the massive EV surge is Facedrive (TSXV:FD,OTC:FDVRF), the startup leading the Canadian evolution of shared mobility--from EV and carbon-offset ride-sharing to acquisition-hungry food delivery, healthcare services, even COVID tracing tech--and much more.
There were EVs before Tesla. But no one wanted to drive them. Elon Musk changed that.
In the same way, there was ride-hailing before Facedrive. But it had no “impact investing” appeal. Facedrive is changing that.
Big money is no longer willing to risk it all on high-growth prospects with no ESG angle. That’s because ESG, or environmental, social and governance investing has become synonymous with risk mitigation, whether it’s related to climate change, human rights or simply good governance.
Facedrive has the new business model designed to lure in this big money.
It’s sharp, sleek, ultra-high-tech, eco-friendly and comes with a complete ESG value chain of services.
It’s the first to offer riders a choice of EVs and hybrids, and to plant trees to offset its carbon footprint.
It’s the first to bring cities and communities on as stakeholders, and to treat its drivers as people who deserve living wages.
It’s the first to truly view ride-sharing as one part of a much bigger ESG shared mobility picture that all hinges on the most advanced technology.
Now, it’s starting to go international, and even giant Amazon (NASDAQ::AMZN) has taken notice.
A series of smart acquisitions, new service launches and FAANG-level and Tier-1 corporate partnerships have positioned it to be a key challenger to the shared mobility throne.
The news flow has been fast and furious even beyond acquisitions, with corporate tie-ins to Amazon and Canada’s Telus telecoms giant and even government endorsement for its high-tech COVID tracing … and it’s planned to start flowing even faster.
Here are 6 Reasons to keep a close eye on this space:
#1 Facedrive: The New ESG Poster Child
ESG Investing isn’t just a trend--it’s a megatrend. And it isn’t just a megatrend, even. It hit that status in 2018 at the $30-billion mark.
Now it’s a craze that’s tied sustainability directly to risk mitigation instead of morals. In other words, it’s where the big money is flowing, and where the big money is to be made.
Just ask BlackRock, which has now replaced Goldman Sachs to become the King of Wall Street.
That’s because it saw the trend coming in advance--way back in 2016.
It saw where things would go wrong for Uber, the first ride-sharing giant that completely ignored sustainability--not to mention profit--with studies showing that ride-hailing results in nearly 70% more pollution than whatever transportation it displaced.
That’s where Facedrive launched its ESG coup: Offering customers a choice they’ve never had in ride-hailing. Facedrive customers can choose from EVs, hybrids or conventional cars, and then rest assured that part of the CO2 footprint they might leave behind is offset by Facedrive tree-planting. Globally each year, plants remove about 25% of the carbon emissions produced by human activities
And this premium environmentally-friendly service doesn’t come at a cost premium, nor do drivers lose out on fares for the green initiative.
That puts Facedrive at the lucrative crossroads of two megatrends: The disruption of the global transportation service industry heading towards $7.5 trillion in 2023 and the ESG investing trend that has far more demand than supply right now.
And while green ride-sharing will be pinging the radar of ESG-hungry investors on Wall Street, Facedrive has a major lineup of other services that all tick the rider-relationship revenue box and all play into the sustainability trend ...
#2 Partnership Deals With Corporate Giants
When Facedrive officially launched its Corporate Partnership Program on June 30th, to anyone paying attention, it was a huge deal because it included giant Amazon--just for starters.
Both global e-commerce giant Amazon and Canadian Tier-1 telecoms giant Telus jumped in on Facedrive’s corporate partnership program. And that news flew right under the radar because it wasn’t officially announced and was revealed only after Facedrive released its Q2 earnings report.
That means both giants will be Corporate partners of Facedrive and that their employees will receive preferred rates on Facedrive products and services.
And they won’t just be using Facedrive in Canada, they’ll be helping it expand its technology infrastructure around the world as Facedrive branches out internationally.
With Amazon and Telus on board, more companies are likely to join.
What they’re following is the ESG trend on a very large portfolio of sustainable services that all take advantage of wider potential of rider-platform relationships.
They’re also following what has become a clear challenge not only to giant Uber, but to the entire food delivery industry, too.
#3 Storming the Food Delivery War Zone
On July 10th, Facedrive finalized a deal to acquire the assets of Foodora Canada, a subsidiary of giant Delivery Hero--the $20-billion multinational food delivery service operating food delivery services in 40 countries and services over 500,000 restaurants. And it’s a brand that doesn’t have the negative reputational baggage of Uber Eats or DoorDash.
Facedrive’s acquisition of the Foodora Canada food delivery business gives it hundreds of thousands of user contacts and over 5,500 new restaurant partners, making the launch of Facedrive Foods a major power play in Canada.
The deal comes at a time when the food delivery segment is undergoing a global war that’s even more intense than the streaming wars. It’s also a war that is likely to result in premium-price rival takeovers. After all, by 2027, the global food delivery business is expected to be closing in on $100 billion.
Overnight, Facedrive is set to position itself into the top echelon of Canadian food delivery services. The next move is international expansion.
#4 Government Endorsement of Proprietary COVID Tracing Tech
Facedrive engineered a major coup at the height of the COVID pandemic, launching TraceSCAN, a homegrown Canadian COVID-19 tracing solution and the only well-known viable application that features Bluetooth wearable tech integration.
It’s also got one of the biggest labor unions in the world on board, and more recently--official endorsement from the Government of Ontario.
Facedrive has now partnered with LiUNA--one of the largest labor unions in the world--to help protect the health and safety of its 130,000 members and their families in Canada.
Now, Facedrive is the definitive leader in this space in Canada.
The government isn’t just endorsing the tech, it’s supporting its deployment--far and wide. It’s the only tech that can effectively help trace coronavirus infections, and it will be crucial to contact tracing on everything from Parliament Hill’s major renovation project in Ottawa, to corporate offices, sporting events, healthcare facilities, long-term care facilities and outdoor venues.
That is a major proprietary coup for a shared mobility company that is disrupting multiple industry segments with the notion that this is about far more than getting from Point A to Point B. It’s an entire ecosystem of sustainability revenues.
Another important development is that its social distancing app now has 500,000 downloads within one month of launching.
#5 The Right Kind of Branding for Mass Appeal
Millennials have changed the future of investing, and that means branding has to pay attention to where all the money is coming from. Branded correctly, shared mobility can reach into countless revenue streams to tap into the rider relationship.
Facedrive isn’t just creating multiple services. It’s creating a lifestyle.
And the company leaves few stones unturned here, including its own line of exclusive, celebrity-branded clothing.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith were the first to jump on board, attracted by the ESG portfolio and the Facedrive “people and planet first” motto.
Now, Will Smith has co-branded an entire line of exclusive clothing with Facedrive with his Bel Air Athletics clothing brand.
And his company with Jada Pinkett Smith, WestBrook Inc., is partnering with this rideshare startup that is now expanding internationally to challenge Uber for the throne.
As always, sustainability is the name of the game, with Bel Air and Facedrive pursuing 100% sustainably sourced materials by next year.
#6 The Name of the Game Is Ultimate Impact
Initiatives that have the capacity for widespread impact are drawing investors in flocks. And with the socially conscious millennial generation launching itself into the market and 30-some-odd years from retirement, this trend is beyond ‘mega’. Big money has latched onto it firmly now.
And Facedrive (TSXV:FD,OTC:FDVRF) is adding “impact” to everything from ride-sharing and food delivery to COVID tracing and exclusive clothing for a solid line-up of ESG services in a single shared mobility company.
So, welcome to the conscientious revolution, led in part by Facedrive.
But pay attention to the numbers … because “Stakeholder capitalism” is a trending term, embraced even by mainstream organizations, and it’s what Facedrive is all about.
And the high-speed news flow …
Facedrive only publicly launched in Q3 2019, and the list of deals and developments has been hard to keep up with:
- In April, Facedrive acquired ‘Technology Triangle’ innovator HiRide, giving it access to the entire user base of a unique long-distance carpooling solution for students and professionals. For its expansion plans, that gives Facedrive the first mile, last mile and … long mile.
- In April and May, Facedrive launched a string of new revenue-generating services, including Facedrive Foods, Facedrive Health and TraceSCAN and an exclusive line of clothing co-branded with Will Smith.
- In May, it also struck a deal with the Canadian side of LiUNA--the half-a-million-strong American and Canadian labor union--to use TraceSCAN, which would immediately lead to bigger deals: And it did …
- In June, Facedrive won the endorsement of the Government of Ontario for the deployment of TraceSCAN to the mobile frontlines of the government’s COVID-19 battle.
- That same month it launched its corporate partnership program.
- In July, Facedrive acquired Foodora Canada from international giant Delivery Hero, significantly boosting the launch of Facedrive Foods ...
It’s rare to see a new company moving this fast to take advantage of multiple opportunities provided by everything from giant Uber’s missteps to a global pandemic and the march of big capital toward sustainable investing.
It’s on the right side of history: In lock-step with Tesla’s EVs and BlackRock’s “impact investing” takeover of Wall Street ... and the tailwinds are ferocious.
The dramatic rise of all things green in the stock market has been a boon for companies like Facedrive, Tesla, and Blink Charging.
COVID-19 should have put the brakes on the the EV industry boom because of a pandemic lull in driving in Q2--but it didn’t.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been tearing it up, with its stock price skyrocketing this year. Not only is Tesla’s auto business booming, it’s even taken a dive into the solar sector, creating rooftop solar panels that are cheaper and more efficient than traditional sources.
Smashing Wall Street consensus left and right, there seems to be no stopping Tesla, and it’s taking the rest of the industry along for a ride in its wake.
Tesla’s rise has even helped propel Blink Charging into the spotlight.
Blink (NASDAQ:BLNK), an electric vehicle charging company, has risen by 319% in just three months, and it’s showing no signs of slowing. A flurry of new deals, including a collaboration with EnerSys have created some support for the relative newcomer.
Michael D. Farkas, Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of Blink noted, “This is an exciting collaboration with EnerSys because it combines the industry-leading technologies of our two companies to provide user-friendly, high powered, next-generation charging alternatives. We are continuously innovating our product offerings to provide more efficient and convenient charging options to the growing community of EV drivers.”
Another high-profile deal between Blink and Envoy Technologies to deploy electric vehicoes and charging stations adds further support.
Aric Ohana, CEO of Envoy noted, “We’re excited to work with Blink on the deployment of their fast Level 2 charging stations as part of our exclusive electric car-sharing service. The vision of our two companies is aligned: to advance the adoption of electric vehicles. To continue to drive the growth and success across our expanding locations, we have to ensure that our clients have easy and efficient access to high-quality, reliable charging equipment. Blink has an established reputation as an innovator in the EV market, and we are thrilled to add them as a preferred partner.”
While millennial Robinhood traders might be leading the charge, it’s clear that there’s a demand for eco-friendly alternatives.
Blackrock (NYSE:BLK) makes this trend all too clear. The world’s largest asset manager has played a key role in fueling the hype. It’s planning to more than 10x that number over time though, aiming to boost that number to over $1 trillion by 2030.
This should serve as a massive wake-up call for investors everywhere, as BlackRock - the $84 billion hedge fund - has replaced Goldman Sachs as the most important banking company in the world.
That’s also the reason it’s gone beyond banking, even reaching “4th branch of government” status.
It’s not alone though. Many across Wall Street and beyond have been vocal about the direction ESG investing is heading.
Even Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is on board. In addition to his $10 billion green fund, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is investing big on the transportation of tomorrow too – leading a $700 million investment round in EV startup Rivian before acquiring robo-taxi startup Zoox for over $1 billion.
But it’s not just limited to transportation. Earlier in July, Perpetual Limited, an Australian asset manager, acquired sustainable investment firm Trillium Asset Management, for a massive $3.3 billion!
The money involved in this global shift toward sustainability is staggering.
And Uber (NASDAQ:UBER) still hasn’t seem to have gotten the message.
Though it has been incredibly successful in disrupting the entire transportation market in just a few short years, Uber is still struggling with debt, and its public image is dwindling as it fails to meet the new standard of sustainability.
Uber’s ex- CEO Travis Kalanick once said, "A city that welcomes Uber onto its roads will be a city where people spend less time stuck in traffic or looking for a parking space," adding, "It will be a cleaner city, where fewer cars on the road will mean less carbon pollution—especially since more and more Uber vehicles are low-emission hybrid vehicles."
But the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, in many studies, it has been revealed that Uber actually increases emissions in these cities. And that’s why the world so desperately needs an alternative.
This is where Facedrive has stepped up, offering users are choice to pick a greener ride – and even if they don’t, the company actively offsets emissions – a win-win for customers.
Canadian companies are getting on board, as well.
Telus Corporation (TSE:T)
Telus’ long-standing commitment to putting its customers first fuels every aspect of its business, has had it a definitive leader in Canada. In fact, Telus Health is one of the country’s biggest healthcare IT providers. And it’s done so with sustainability in focus.
Driven by its goal to connect all Canadians for good, it has contributed over $55 in community giving, reduced emissions by 31% and has four consecutive years on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.
Shopify Inc (TSX:SH)
Shopify is a rapidly-expanding tech giant in the e-commerce sector. It’s already got over 1 million businesses using its platform, including Budweiser, Tesla and Red Bull. Shopify has revolutionized the e-commerce world, allowing anyone, even if they do not know how to code, build and deploy an e-commerce website. And it’s not without its ethical grounding, either. Shopify is pushing towards sustainability in a major way. It has started its own sustainability fund, which it adds $5 million to each year to help tackle the looming climate crisis.
Shaw Communications Inc (TSE:SJR.B)
Shaw is one of Canada’s leading telecom infrastructure and cloud service providers. Its dominance in Canada’s telecom sector means that if any internet-based services want to operate, they’ll likely be utilizing the company’s infrastructure. After all, without telecoms, these TaaS companies would not be able to operate. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing when you consider Shaw’s sustainability goals. In fact, it is one of the biggest customers of Bullfrog Power which sources its electricity from a blend of wind energy and hydropower. It is also building its own portfolio of clean energy investments.
BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE)
BCE is another household name in Canadian telecom. Throughout its push into the position of one of Canada’s top telco groups, it has bought and sold a number of different firms. BCE is currently at the forefront of the Internet of Things movement in Canada. That means it will play a vital role in building new sustainability projects and making Canada’s cities smarter and more efficient.
Westport Fuel Systems (TSX:WPRT)
Westport is a renewable energy provider for the transportation industry. It creates and distributes systems for less impactful fuels, such as natural gas. That means it has an amazing potential upside, considering there are over 2.5 million natural gas vehicles worldwide. In North America alone, there are over 225,000 natural gas vehicles. But that shies in comparison to the global 22.5 million natural gas vehicles globally, which means the company still has a ton of room to grow!
By. Laura Hernandez
**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 quickly and take a much larger share of the market; that Facedrive’s TraceScan app will be adopted by other parties including government; that Facedrive’s marketplace will offer many more sustainable goods and services, and grow revenues outside of ride-sharing; that new products co-branded by Bel Air and Facedrive will sell well; that Facedrive can achieve its environmental goals without sacrificing profit; that Facedrive Foods will expand to other regions outside southern Ontario soon; that major corporations will partner with Facedrive; 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 plans. 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 and whether markets justify additional expansion; the TraceScan app may not be adopted because of better apps offered by competitors or because of expense 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 Facedrive to attract providers of good and services for partnerships on terms acceptable to both parties, and on profitable terms for Facedrive; that the products co-branded by Facedrive may not be as merchantable as expected; that Facedrive does not attract major corporations as corporate partners, and even if it does, the partnerships do not bring the customers or revenues expected; 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, riders and drivers in order to retain profits. 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.
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