RSG166: Why This Rideshare Company Failed

Low pay, high commissions, unfair deactivations – these are just some of the complaints drivers have about Uber and Lyft. What happened if someone started their own rideshare company, without all of the problems associated with Uber and Lyft? In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Vikesh Chandrashekar about what it takes to start a rideshare company, the challenges associated with starting your own rideshare company, and if he would recommend you start your own company. 

Shout to the Micromobility podcast! I haven’t done a micromobility episode in a while, so if you’re craving your escooter or bike coverage fix, you’ll want to head over to the Micromobility podcast now. One I recently listened to? The episode with Benedict Evans and Horace Dediu about microbility and new urban transport technology – really in-depth, interesting interviews and discussions, you won’t want to miss it.

Listen to this episode on your phone here.

Intro to Vikesh Chandrashekar

  • Came to US in 2013 for graduate school
  • Worked with statewide grants for entrepreneurs and small businesses
  • Goal was to improve local economy – keeping jobs and money within the state
  • Idea for FairShare came about while he was taking rides as a passenger

FairShare’s Beginnings

  • Quickly found out that he needed to focus on customers
  • Important to tell passengers that payments were going to drivers – not the company itself
  • Drivers paid FairShare a fixed fee to license the technology
  • Gave drivers incredible flexibility in accepting rides
  • One goal was to create a more efficient market

Drivers vs Customers

  • Needed a marketing budget
  • In order to pay drivers, needed customers to pay them
  • Relatively easy to recruit drivers – they liked the concept!
  • Created a marketing platform for customers

What Does it Take to Start Your Own Rideshare Company?

  • Technology – $10k to white label this technology
  • Insurance – one of the biggest challenges
  • Licensing
  • Privacy policy, terms of service, driver agreement
  • Demand and supply

Lessons Learned from Fairshare

  • Local transit should be managed at a local level – local transit authority knows this, too
  • Start in a small, local community and a concentrated number of drivers
  • Make sure you can always cover the area
  • Starting your own rideshare company is one of the riskiest things you can do


  • Thanks to Vikesh for coming on the podcast and sharing his story
  • My takeaway? I won’t be starting a rideshare company any time soon, but I absolutely see why someone would

Show Notes