Back in December, the New York-based ride-hailing app Juno began recruiting Uber and Lyft drivers by promising them better treatment, including the opportunity to earn equity in the company. At the time, Juno did not have any customers and was paying each of its drivers $50 per week to help collect data by keeping the Juno app turned on while they drove for other services.
Six months later, a Juno spokesperson tells me, the company has on-boarded 9,000 drivers (Uber has about 35,000 drivers in New York City), and thousands of riders have signed up for a beta version of the service. Uber has about 35,000 drivers in New York City, which means that Juno, an app that hasn’t technically even launched yet, has signed up about 25% as many drivers as its $62.5 billion competitor.
Juno advertises its beta program on screensavers installed on phones it has provided its drivers, who typically already drive for Uber or Lyft (and are free to continue doing so as Juno launches). During its beta phase, the startup has discounted rides by 35% and will not charge customers for surge pricing, though it is still paying drivers more during high-demand times.