I’m traveling in Ireland right now but today, RSG contributor John Ince takes a look at all of the top rideshare stories from the past week. Uber’s merchant delivery program could be a game-changer in my opinion and I’m curious to hear if any of my readers are participating (feel free to leave a comment on the article if so).
Sum and Substance:
Uber is planning to launch a merchant delivery program that would allow online shoppers to get same-day delivery of goods through both UberRush couriers and Uber drivers. TechCrunch has obtained training documents for Uber drivers and couriers who are part of the merchant delivery pilot program. Sources say that Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s, Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss are all in talks with the Uber Merchant Delivery program, and one source in particular said that there are over 400 different merchants currently in talks (or already testing) with Uber for same-day delivery.
My Take: With several billion in the bank, it’s only a matter of time until Uber deploys it’s capital on new ventures like this, potentially opening up new opportunities for drivers and clients. But it’s hardly a slam dunk. Remember WebVan? … I’m sure Louis Borders, former head of Border’s Books does. WebVan raised $396 million from investors and had a valuation of $4.8 billion at their IPO. Ten years later, CNET dubbed Webvan the largest dot-com flop in history, … even a bigger flop than Pets.com. Today Webvan is owned and operated by Amazon.com, another of Uber’s many competitors in this space. [Read more…]