Ride-hailing startup Sidecar has long been overshadowed by its rivals Uber and Lyft, both in number of customers and in institutional investment. After nearly four years of trying to differentiate itself, it has given up the fight.
The company announced in a blog post that it would shutter its ride-hailing and delivery operations on December 31. Sidecar hasn't ruled out the possibility of using any remaining funds to start side businesses. CEO Sunil Paul wrote in the post that he will consider "strategic alternatives and lay the groundwork for the next big thing."
But Sidecar did try out various strategies before calling it quits. In 2014, the company rolled out a shared rides feature, and it utilized its fleet of drivers to make food and grocery deliveries to offices. Paul described the business delivery service as a success ("the #1 business-to-business delivery service in the country in a matter of months") but it may have been introduced too late to turn around the company's fortunes.
From the blog post:
Shutting down the Sidecar service is a disappointment for our team and our fans. The impact of our work, however, will be felt for generations to come.
Paul didn't share many insights on why the company failed. Recently, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have taken to writing "post-mortem" posts to explain their perceived failings in detail. The goal is to help entrepreneurs avoid similar mistakes.