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NEWS ABOUT MOBILITY BUSINESSES SUCH AS RIDE HAILING AND CAR SHARING

Let's talk about car sharing, ride hailing, Uber, Lyft, on-demand mobility and all the other disruptive trends that look like they will eat into car ownership -- even good old-fashioned car rental...

This information can also be found on the weekly news review.

2018

April

  • Lyft said it would purchase carbon offsets to match the rides taken on its network. The company believes “in future all vehicles will operate with clean energy” and says the scheme makes it one of the largest purchasers of such credits in the world. (Lyft)
  • Via and Mobike now offer a subscription package covering ride hailing and bike sharing in Washington. (Via)
  • ComfortDelGro said it would purchase London taxi operator Dial-a-Cab. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Car sharing firm Turo said it had added $12 million in funding, taking its latest round to $104 million. (TechCrunch)
  • Moovn expanding its ride hailing service from launch city Seattle to a further five US cities. (Geekwire)
  • BMW said it does not “exclude other partners” from the mobility joint venture with Daimler. (Manager Magazin)
  • Uber acquired bicycle rental firm Jump for $200 million and announced partnerships with a car sharing firm, Getaround, and a multi-modal platform, Masabi, seemingly intent on creating an Amazon Marketplace-style element to its offering. (TechCrunch)
  • South Korean firm Kakao took a small stake in Lyft. (Yonhap)
  • Ola acquired multi-modal and ticketing app Ridlr. (Forbes)
  • Go-Jek is rumoured to have received funding toalling over $1.5 billion in its latest round. Although the company hasn’t confirmed this, some investors have announced their participation. (TechCrunch)
  • Alibaba is reportedly considering an investment in Grab. (TechCrunch)
  • Grab’s CEO gave an interview containing some commentary on the merger with Uber’s ASEAN operations. Pressed on the impact for customers and drivers, he answered that some drivers would be better off and so would some customers (but the reverse would be true), failing to answer the central anti-competitive challenge: that Grab would be better off. (CNBC)

March

  • Uber’s deal with Grab is under investigation by competition authorities in ASEAN who fear that a powerful monopoly will be created, against the best interests of the consumer. (Reuters)
  • Grab announced a collaboration with RideCo where the latter will provide dynamic on-demand shuttles that will be available on Grab’s app. (RideCo)
  • Careem is reportedly in initial talks for a new fund raising round with a target if $500 million. (Deal Street Asia)
  • An in-depth profile of Uber’s CEO suggested that his performance incentives for a $120 billion IPO might be so extravagant that they are driving many of the company’s strategic decisions (e.g. converting competitive market position in Russia / China / ASEAN into stakes in dominant operators). (New Yorker)
  • US rental company Ryder said that a trial fleet asset sharing scheme had been highly successful and it is now planning a nationwide rollout, believing that 25% of fleet vehicles are totally idle at least one day per week. (Reuters)
  • As rumoured, Uber and Grab agreed to merge their entire Southeast Asia operations. Grab will run the combined business, with Uber taking a 27.5% stake in Grab. (Press Release)
  • The long-rumoured mobility asset pooling between BMW and Daimler could have a larger scope than previously anticipated and could include Daimler’s stake in ride hailing firm mytaxi. (Manager Magazin)
  • Lyft appears to be testing the price sensitivity of its customers by offering package subscription deals for 30 rides per month with prices varying between $199 and $300 for identical products. (Engadget)
  • Lyft said that it reached $1 billion of revenue in 2017 and is serving 10 million rides per week. (TechCrunch)
  • After selling its stake in DriveNow to BMW, Sixt is planning its own short term car rental service, which it will bundle with more traditional car rental and taxi products. (Manager Magazin)
  • Zūm, a US ride hailing service aimed at children, raised a further $19 million. (Press Release)
  • SoftBank is reportedly looking to build an ownership stake of around 50% in Ola; some early investors may sell their shares in secondary markets. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Uber launched UberHealth, similar to its existing UberCentral offering that helps companies book journeys for their customers. The new service can be used for non-emergency trips to a from hospitals and clinics. (TechCrunch)
  • Uber criticised a MIT report into the earnings potential for its drivers, saying the methodology underestimate pay by asking confusing questions. (Uber)
  • Chinese firm Meituan is reportedly planning to launch ride hailing services in several major cities. (Technode)

February

  • Bosch said it was creating a new mobility division and acquired US start-up SPLT / Splitting Fares (Bosch)
  • Sony is partnering with a group of Japanese taxi firms to create a ride hailing service. The company believes that it can offer artificial intelligence competencies that will set its efforts apart. (Reuters)
  • Citymapper said that it had finished its pilot scheme running bus services in London and decided to start trials of a fleet of smaller minibuses. The company said it would like to operate larger vehicles but that regulations were currently too great an obstacle. (Citymapper)
  • Car sharing firm MyKeego has started operations in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Auto Rental)
  • Moovit raised an additional $50 million from various sources including BMW iVentures and Intel. (FINSMES)
  • Via won a contract to develop on-demand technology for public transport in Singapore. (Via)
  • Mahindra purchased a 16% stake in car sharing firm Zoomcar. The two are already partnering in a scheme to create more electric car sharing. (Mahindra)
  • Uber is reportedly in talks to sell its ASEAN business to Grab in exchange for a part stake in the company. (CNBC)
  • Uber’s CEO is “pretty darn confident” that the company could be profitable in the near future, if it chose to reduce spending on growth and innovation. He is hoping Uber will have a “path” to profitability in 2019 when it plants to start talking in detail about an IPO. (Business Insider)
  • Uber lost $(1.1) billion in Q4 2017 on bookings of $11.06 billion and net revenue of $2.26 billion. (Business Insider)
  • Uber published a white paper about its vision for work in Europe, arguing that it provided a useful opportunity for freelance work that could help people earn, and championing the gig economy in general. (Uber)
  • South Korean ride hailing company Kakao Mobility has acquired car pooling start-up Luxi. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Lyft is trialling a new partnership in Baltimore where users can book a bike rental and be dropped off at the bike sharing station. (Lyft)
  • SEAT acquired Madrid car sharing company Respiro and its fleet of 200 cars. (SEAT)
  • Didi announced a deal with 12 carmakers -- including the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance; KIA and a series of Chinese manufacturers -- to work on a future electric car sharing network. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Europcar said it would start offering integrated taxi rides to and from the rental location into leasing offers; using the Brunel ride hailing service it acquired last year. (Auto Rental International)
  • com -- the recent acquirers of Uber’s leasing business -- completed a new round of fund raising. At the same time, Fair purchased Skurt, a fleet management company BMW had previously invested in. (FINSMES)
  • Business expense company Certify said that 68% of US travel spending on its systems in 2017 was on ride hailing services, against 7% for taxi rides. (Auto Rental)
  • Communauto subsidiary Vrtucar acquired longstanding Canadian operator Community CarShare. (Auto Rental)
  • Zoomcar said that its revenue had grown 40% on a year-over-year basis and that it was launching a bike sharing scheme called PEDL (Auto Rental)
  • Uber said it will team up with bicycle sharing company Jump to run a scheme in San Francisco where users can choose to rent a bike, rather than hail a car, from Uber’s app. (The Verge)
  • Grab and Samsung will partner on initiatives around “digital inclusion”, such as improving ride hailing services and mobile payments. (Samsung)
  • BMW acquired full control of car sharing brand DriveNow, buying out Sixt. (BMW)
  • Ford will launch the Chariot bus service in London, the first European city. A fleet of 14 vehicles will run on four routes, all with snazzy alliterative titles. (Ford)

January

  • Maxi Mobility, the firm behind ride hailing operators Cabify and Easy Taxi raised $160 million. The money is reportedly to strengthen existing market positions rather than expand internationally. (TechCrunch)
  • Ride hailing firm Blacklane (Daimler is an investor) raised around $40 million for expansion. (TechCrunch)
  • French ride-haling app Heetch raised an additional €16.5 million. The company hopes to expand in two to three companies each year. (Journal Auto)
  • Executives speaking off the record said the long-awaited deal for BMW and Daimler to merge their car sharing units may reach a final agreement next month. The companies will reportedly continue to operate separate brands, pooling technology and back office functions -- BMW’s parking assets will also be part of the agreement. (Reuters)
  • Lyft said “hundreds of thousands” of passengers got rid of a car in 2017 because they use ridesharing. 83% said that they would request a ride in a self-driving vehicle when the service is available. (Lyft)
  • Ride hailing start-up Go-Jek is apparently part way through a $1.2 billion funding round. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Shell has applied for an operating licence for the FarePilot app in London. At present it directs drivers for services such as Uber and myTaxi to likely hotspots of customer demand, but does not offer its own service. (City AM)
  • VW announced that it will launch ride hailing and car sharing schemes in Rwanda during 2018. (VW)
  • Chinese electric car sharing start-up Caocao Zhuanche raised $156 million. (China Money Network)
  • Lyft said that it was expanding its concierge service and making it easier for companies to sign up. It is targeted at businesses that want to provide transport for their customers rather than employee travel. (TechCrunch)
  • Singaporean fund BM Mobility is set to buy Malaysian electric car sharing firm UNiRide. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Hyundai invested in Grab; the two companies will partner on electric ride-hailing fleets. (Hyundai)
  • Kia will launch the WiBLE car sharing service in Europe during 2018. (Kia)
  • JLR invested in US ride-hailing start-up Voyage -- a company that previously said it believed fares could be paid for by advertising. (JLR)
  • Following an earlier investment, Didi acquired Brazilian ride hailing firm 99 Taxis in its entirety. (TechCrunch)
  • Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is reportedly looking to sell 29% of his stake in the company. (TechCrunch)
  • Chinese carmaker FAW has taken a 10% stake in a new car sharing operation set up by Mobike. (Reuters)
  • Luxury peer-to-peer car rental service Ryde started operations. The company hopes to expand beyond Los Angeles soon. (Ryde)
  • SnagRide, a long distance peer-to-peer ridesharing service, launched an initial coin offering, with hefty bonuses for early subscribers. The company is planning to launch full-scale in Q4 2018. (SnagRide)

2017

December

  • SoftBank said it had successfully closed its tender offer for 15% of Uber. Based on the share sale, Uber is valued at around $48 billion. (TechCrunch)
  • Didi Chuxing said that it had raised $4 billion to fund expansion, investments in AI and electric vehicles. (Didi)
  • Uber was declared to be a transport company for regulatory purposes within the EU after it lost a court case. Although it was hailed as a massive blow, the impact on most of Uber’s existing operations is minor. (BBC)
  • Grab launched ride hailing services in Cambodia. (Grab)
  • An article suggested that autonomous vehicles could herald free ride hailing, with users agreeing to visit sponsoring companies to get their trip paid for. (The Atlantic)
  • Uber hired a new COO -- he worked with the recently appointed CEO at their previous employer. (TechCrunch)
  • Uber is selling its leasing business to com, some of the payment will be in Fair.com shares. (Business Insider)
  • Denso announced that it had invested in ride hailing and car sharing fleet management technology provider Ridecell and the two companies would work together to find uses for Denso’s technology in on-demand vehicles. (Ridecell)
  • Electric scooter sharing service Scoot said that it would add “hundreds” of electrically assisted bicycles to its network in San Francisco. (Press Release)
  • Car-pooling start-up Carsmartt announced that it was creating its own crypto-currency called Coinsmartt. The company claims that this will be fully interchangeable with other currencies and has been implemented to reduce transaction fees. (Press Release)
  • Daimler will start a dynamic shuttle service in Berlin in partnership with Via and German public transport operator BVG. The initial fleet of 50 vehicles is forecast to eventually reach 300. The service is currently planned to run for two years before an evaluation of its merits will take place. (Via)
  • Daimler acquired a 50% stake in French ride hailing company Chauffeur Privé with the intention of buying the rest of the company by 2019. (Daimler)
  • BlueSG, run by Bollore, launched in Singapore with 80 vehicles and 32 stations. The company wants to get to 1,000 vehicles and 2,000 charging points by 2020. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Continental and Avis started a pilot scheme in Kansas City where vehicles can be driven off with a smartphone that runs Avis’s app rather than having to go through Avis employees. (Continental)
  • Go-Jek acquired three start-ups (Midtrans, Mapan and Kartuku) to help it expand its digital payments offering. (Deal Street Asia)
  • UK politicians got into a war of words over the future of transport. After transport minister Chris Grayling said that the future of buses was towards “Uber-style, demand led services”, the opposition transport spokesman said “nobody wants to see Uber replacing local bus services” and unions were similarly critical. (Politics Home)
  • Peer to peer car sharing operator Snappcar partnered with telematics provider Telia so that owners can see what is happening to their cherished steed whilst it is out of their sight. (Telematics News)
  • Nissan is launching an all-electric carsharing scheme called e-Share Mobi in Japan. (Nissan)
  • Honda invested about $9 million in Chinese car-sharing platform Reachda. (Caixin)
  • Renault announced the re-launch of Karhoo, the taxi aggregator app that Renault purchased after its failure. The company forecasts that by the end of December over 150,000 taxis will use the app. (Renault)
  • Uber has run into licensing problems in two further UK cities -- York and Sheffield. As with London, the company is able to appeal. (BBC)
  • ComfortDelGro is buying a majority stake in a private hire vehicle fleet operator from an Uber (Reuters)
  • Didi will reportedly launch in Mexico early in 2018. It recently apparently gave up on the US. (Reuters)
  • Go-Jek said it was planning to open its first overseas service, in the Philippines early in 2018. (Reuters)
  • Go-Jek has invested in Bangladeshi ride hailing firm Pathao. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Chinese electric vehicle car sharing company PonyCar has reportedly raised $37 million in a series C round, bringing total fundraising to $83 million in just over a year. (China Money Network)
  • In a preview of some of the problems the sharing economy will yield, car rental operators were criticised for not wiping user data such as phone and location details when a vehicle was passed to a new user. (V3)
  • Fuelling rumours of an impending IPO, Lyft boosted its fund-raising by another $500 million and has just hired a VP of corporate development and IR. (TechCrunch)

November

  • Didi Chuxing ended its pilot scheme in the USA and instead is directing users to download Lyft. (Technode)
  • Uber’s Q3 financials showed net losses of $1.46 billion on $9.71 billion of gross bookings and $2.01 billion of net revenue. (Business Insider)
  • Softbank’s offer for existing Uber shares apparently values the company almost a third lower than its last major funding round. (TechCrunch)
  • According to leaked documents, Lyft lost $(206) million on $483 million of revenue in the first half of 2017. (Business Insider)
  • Ola has launched a bicycle sharing service called Ola Pedal. (TechCrunch)
  • BMW launched car sharing in China under the ReachNow brand (same as US) in partnership with Chinese car sharing operator EVCARD. The starting location is Chengdu and will only use all-electric vehicles. (BMW)
  • Uber suffered a data breach in 2016, losing control of data for 57 million drivers and customers. The company, apparently with the knowledge of the then-CEO, paid for the data to be deleted and stayed silent on the matter until the new CEO decided it needed to be transparent. (Uber)
  • Chinese ride-hailing company Shouqi said that it had secured new investment of around $195 million from companies including NIO and Baidu. (Press Release)
  • Sixt intends to expand the MyDriver ride hailing service from its existing 16 US cities, including launching the service in Europe. (Bloomberg)
  • HopSkipDrive, the ride hailing service dedicated to transporting children, said it had raised a further $7.5 million, bringing total funding to over $21.5 million. (TechCrunch)
  • Lyft is looking to raise an additional $500 million. (Axios)
  • Messaging service Line acquired Indonesian carpooling platform TemanJalan, citing the company’s local language chatbot expertise, rather than business model, as the primary reason for the purchase. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Lyft bought streaming start-up Kamcord to hire its engineering staff. (Kamcord)
  • Lyft saw some of its financial details published (after a leak), including medium-term growth targets. (Bloomberg)
  • Lyft has chosen Canada Toronto for its first international location. (Lyft)
  • Softbank completed its much-anticipated investment in Uber. (TechCrunch)
  • It looks like Uber is safe in London for a while yet. The mayor said that the appeals process could “go on for a number of years”. (BBC)
  • Media reports questioned the popularity of Autolib, the car sharing scheme in Paris run by Bolloré, saying that subscribers have fallen 5% since the start of the year and only 17 new vehicles have been registered to the scheme this year, compared to 941 last year. (Journal Auto)
  • French carpooling start-up LESS said that it had raised €16 million. (Journal Auto)
  • Toyota Financial Services launched a scheme in partnership with Launch Mobility aimed at ride-hailing drivers to offer used vehicles for short term rentals. (Toyota)
  • Uber said that it will trial flying taxis in Los Angeles from 2020 (Dubai was already on the cards) and sees “heavy use” of Uber Air by 2028. It is collaborating with NASA to develop the necessary control systems. (Business Insider)
  • Hertz’s CEO said the company does not view ride hailing as “the enemy” and that it is a likely area of growth, suggesting that it may be a way for vehicles to be retained for longer periods. (Bloomberg)
  • Daimler’s Car2Go said that Madrid was one of its top 3 busiest cities globally, with 180,000 users sharing the 500 vehicles it has in the city. (Europa Press)
  • Uber has created a new service option called “Express Pool” to reduce fares. Rather than being collected and dropped off at the exact spot they want, passengers begin and end their journeys at nearby “smart spots” which are easy for the cars to reach. (TechCrunch)
  • Grab said that it had reached one billion rides at the end of October. (Grab)
  • Didi has entered into a strategic partnership with NEVS to create a charging network that Didi’s drivers and members of the public can use. Didi expects to have 1 million electric vehicles in its fleet by 2020. (Climate Action Programme)
  • Ford’s Chariot on-demand bus service confirmed that it is working towards a launch of operations in London. (City AM)

October

  • Zipcar announced a program that gives unlimited access during the work week. There is a flat monthly subscription of between $199 - $299 and then a mileage charge. (The Verge)
  • Uber is adjusting fees to help drivers earn more. It will now make customers with long pick-up distance pay extra to reflect the cost of collecting them, as well as the paid journey. (TechCrunch)
  • Lyft announced that it had raised $1 billion in a round led by Alphabet’s (Google’s) growth fund. The company is now valued at $11 billion. (Lyft)
  • Grab announced $700 million in debt to fund expansion and that it will partner in Singapore with SMRT (public transport and taxi operator) to create a flexible fleet. (Grab)
  • California’s Energy Commission has approved a grant for an all-fuel cell car sharing scheme. There will be 15 vehicles in the fleet. (Auto Rental International)
  • Research by website rastreator.com found that six out of ten Spaniards would be prepared to carshare (temporary rental, not pooling) if it saved them money. (Europa Press)
  • In an interview GM’s president said that it was unlikely to make further acquisitions for its self-driving car business or that it was planning to spin-off any mobility business from the main company. (Reuters)
  • Hyundai launched an all-electric car sharing scheme with 100 vehicles in Amsterdam. Rental costs €12 per hour. (Auto Rental International)
  • PSA will expand its emov all-electric car sharing scheme in Madrid to 600 vehicles in total (memo: it recently said it would shutter activities in Berlin). PSA says that the Madrid operation has an average user age of 36, 71% of customers are men and the average travel time is 20 minutes. (Auto Factil)
  • Ford had to suspend operations of the Chariot service in California after routine inspections found that some of its drivers were improperly licensed. (Wired)
  • Car sharing and ride hailing back office platform provider Ridecell said that it was buying Auro, a developer of autonomous vehicles and said it was creating a platform to provide and operate autonomous vehicles in ride hailing services. (Ridecell)
  • Lyft said that it had reached a total of half a billion rides, and has completed 100 million in the last three months. (Lyft)
  • Ride hailing company Ola said that it had raised $1.1 billion from investors including Tencent and SoftBank and that it was working on an additional $1 billion. (Ola)
  • Uber told UK MPs that it was working on ways to cap drivers to 10-12 hours worked within a 24-hour period. According to Uber, a quarter of drivers in the UK are working more than 40 hours per week currently. (City AM)
  • Short term luxury rental company CarHopper raised $1.5 million to fund developments that will allow it to bring small rental companies onto its (currently peer-to-peer) platform. (TechCrunch)
  • Various media sources speculated that Waymo could launch ride hailing services using autonomous vehicles without safety drivers in Phoenix, Arizona within the next few months. (ArsTechnica)
  • An analysis of the four largest providers of car sharing in Italy (Car2Go, DriveNow, Share’n Go and Enjoy) put the average loss per car at €(4,700) in 2016. (Journal Auto)
  • French ride hailing company Heetch has raised $12 million to fund expansion beyond its current operations in France, Belgium, Sweden and Italy (TechCrunch)
  • Estonian ride hailing company Taxify, recently shut down in London over licencing issues, said it would launch in Paris. (Journal Auto)

September

  • Daimler has bought Flinc, an on-demand mobility platform. Flinc originally started as a peer-to-peer ridesharing service but then built a white label service for car sharing, used by Opel among others. (Daimler)
  • Bollore are set to launch an all-electric car sharing scheme called BlueSG in December with an initial 80 vehicles and 30 separate sites. (Auto Rental News)
  • Didi has reportedly invested $200 million in peer-to-peer car sales site RenCheChe. (TechCrunch)
  • Ford said that it would work with Lyft to integrate fleet vehicles (as opposed to driver-owned) into the Lyft system as a precursor to offering robo taxis. In the system that Ford described, it would have a technology platform that operated a pool of vehicles that could be assigned to jobs from companies such as Lyft. (Ford)
  • Uber was told by London’s transport regulator that it would not have its licence renewed when it expires at the end of September. The company is appealing the decision (it can continue to operate until the appeals process is exhausted) and is calling for regulators to open a dialogue on what it can do to improve. (BBC)
  • Uber is facing a Californian lawsuit from drivers complaining about its pricing model. Uber appears to have been calculating driver revenue based on the shortest route to the passenger’s destination at the time of pick-up (i.e. at which time it becomes fixed). The Passenger is then charged for the actual trip (invariably longer) and Uber keeps the difference. (Ars Technica)
  • Citymapper and Gett announced a trial in London where they will run taxis on a fixed route during commuter hours. The fare will be fixed and the taxis will be shared, with users able to get in and disembark at any point on the route. (Citymapper on Medium).
  • French car rental start-up Virtuo said that it had raised €7.5 million to fund expansion into European cities outside France. (Journal Auto)
  • Alphabet (Google) is reportedly looking at making a $1 billion investment in Lyft. (TechCrunch)
  • Dutch car sharing company SnappCar has taken over German rival Tamyca. (Fleet Europe)
  • Daimler announced that it had been the lead investor in a financing round for US peer to peer carsharing service Turo and that as a part of the deal, Daimler’s own peer to peer carsharing service Croove would be folded into Turo’s operations and Turo would enter the German market in 2018. (Daimler)
  • Daimler created a joint venture with on-demand shuttle bus company Via that will see Daimler invest $50 million and licence Via’s technology to launch services in Europe, starting with London, where an on-demand bus service will begin in late 2017. The companies will also work together to develop an optimised Mercedes van for the service. (Via)
  • Lyft said that it would introduce self-driving vehicles in collaboration with ai. Memo: Lyft is already working with GM’s Cruise operation and has recently begun its own in-house autonomous effort. (Lyft)
  • Estonian ride-hailing start-up Taxify saw the launch of services in London run into problems when the city’s transport regulator told it to suspend services because they were dissatisfied with the way in which Taxify circumvented licencing application requirements by partnering with an existing firm. (Telegraph)
  • GM’s mobility chief said that Maven Gig vehicles had an average utilisation rate of 60% on hourly leases and 40% on daily leases. She sees Maven’s fleet as being 2/3 electric “going forward”. (GM -- Audio only)

August

  • Lyft announced that it had now achieved full coverage in 40 of the 50 US states. (Lyft)
  • Uber’s new CEO said that the company would likely have its IPO in the next 18 to 36 months. (TechCrunch). The company also published highlights of his opening comments to staff. (Uber)
  • Uber’s Movement trip data website went on general release, providing trip data for some of the cities that the company operates in. (TechCrunch)
  • Toyota participated in ride hailing service Grab’s latest fund-raising round and announced a collaboration to install Toyota-developed data recording devices in Grab vehicles. (Toyota)
  • Ride hailing firm Zūm, who organise rides for children with specially trained drivers, raised $5.5 million in a Series A round. (TechCrunch)
  • White label car sharing platform provider Vulog announced a €17.5 million fund raising. (Journal Auto)
  • Uber’s latest financial results showed revenues of $1.75 billion, up from $1.5 billion in the prior quarter and an EBIT loss of $(645) million. The company had $6.6 billion in cash at the end of the quarter. (Axios). This week also saw Uber’s first pitch deck being re-published by one of the firm’s co-founders. The company remains some way from the $20 million per year profits envisaged on slide 20. (Medium)
  • The speculation surrounding the search for Uber’s new CEO proved spectacularly wrong (example: Business Insider) as the company announced Expedia’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. (BBC)
  • Uber is reportedly in talks with Singaporean taxi firm ComfortDelGro to add the company’s licenced taxis to Uber’s local offering. (Straits Times)
  • Google Maps took a further step towards commoditisation of ride-hailing services with the announcement that BlaBlaCar services would now be shown (in the public transport section). Google already displays offerings from Uber and Gett. (Journal Auto)
  • Luxury peer-to-peer car sharing app LuxNow launched in Florida, with plans to expand to other US locations and expand its offerings into all-things-luxurious including jets and yachts. (Auto Rental News)
  • GM’s VP for urban mobility gave an interview about the performance and growth of Maven. She was asked whether the unit was profitable and replied that there was more than 100% return on investment without being clear on the rationale. (Economic Times of India)
  • Go-Jek has reportedly added JD.com to its list of investors as it looks close to finalising its latest funding round. (TechCrunch)
  • Renault will reportedly partner with infrastructure company Ferrovial to launch a Spanish car sharing service that uses all-electric vehicles. (Autofactil)
  • Uber’s chief product officer indicated that the company was targeting 2023 (memo: testing will apparently start in 2020) for a mass rollout of a flying taxi service and was interested in operating in Australian cities Melbourne and Sydney. (Herald Sun)
  • Uber agreed to a 20-year monitoring period in order to settle a case with the US’s FTC over its “God View” data collection platform. (BBC)
  • Uber had its licence to operate in the Philippines suspended for one month because of the number of drivers operating on the service who are not fully registered with the government. (TechCrunch)
  • Uber has revised its Uber for Business interface to make it easier for companies to set limits on how employees can use the platform. The update comes after Lyft has made a raft of changes to its business offering in order to become more appealing. (TechCrunch)
  • Ride-hailing firm Careem announced a financing agreement with Didi Chuxing to expand its presence in the Middle East. (TechCrunch)
  • SoftBank’s CEO said that the company was interested in taking a stake in either Uber or Lyft to complement its ride-share holdings in other regions. (TechCrunch). Softbank weren’t alone in their courting of Uber however, as rumours emerged of an alternate investment group looking to increase their shareholdings (Recode)
  • Uber’s former CEO and founder Travis Kalanick was sued by major shareholder Benchmark Capital, a move that was criticised by other shareholders. (TechCrunch)
  • Uber announced a new feature that allows passengers to text the driver ahead of the pick-up to give information such as how to spot them at the side of the road. The message is read aloud to the driver by the app. (Uber)
  • Uber’s Xchange leasing program to provide cars to drivers is reportedly losing $9,000 per vehicle and the company is considering options for the unit including closure or sale. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Lyft has bought YesGraph and DataScore. YesGraph’s team will work on driver retention and DataScore’s expertise will be applied to customer acquisition and retention. (Lyft)
  • GM subsidiary Cruise unveiled a ride-hailing service called Cruise Anywhere which its employees have been using to summon self-driving vehicles around San Francisco. Cruise said that the ultimate aim was to open the service to the public after extensive testing. (TechCrunch)
  • Japanese company Line, best known for its messaging app, has launched a taxi booking service in Thailand as part of an on-demand platform it is continuing to build. (TechCrunch)
  • Toyota will expand its EV sharing pilot program Ha:mo to Thailand. (Economic Times)
  • Uber announced upgrades to its payload-to-driver matching service Uber Freight offering, expanding the markets covered and allowing drivers to be more specific about the type of jobs they are interested in. (Uber)
  • Uber came in for criticism after a report revealed that its Singapore operation had let cars subject to a recall remain on the road because of a shortage of parts (in part created by Uber’s use of grey imports). (TechCrunch)
  • Lyft announced a tie-up with (US train operator) Amtrak that will allow travellers to book a pick-up directly from the train company’s app at the same time as booking their ticket. (Lyft)
  • Media profiled ride-hailing integration app Mystro, which lets drivers log into both Uber and Lyft and then helps them determine the most profitable jobs to accept. The company believes it has found a way around Lyft and Uber’s notorious efforts to shut out integration services by using accessibility software embedded within Android. (TechCrunch)
  • Via announced the launch of a new service called Shared Taxi in New York through a collaboration with Curb. It matches riders in NYC yellow cabs and gives discounts on shared portions of the ride. (Via)
  • Estonian ride hailing company Taxify is preparing to launch in London, assisted by an investment from Didi Chuxing. (TechCrunch)

July

  • Softbank reportedly has expressed an interest in making an investment of several billion dollars in Uber. It isn’t clear whether this interest is in purchase of existing shares, newly created equity or both. (TechCrunch)
  • Ford said that shuttle service Chariot will expand to New York. (TechCrunch)
  • Renault said that Karhoo was on track to be relaunched in late 2017 with a new strategy. (Auto Finance News)
  • Uber reportedly hopes to have a new CEO in place by September but one of the rumoured candidates, Meg Whitman, has already ruled herself out. (Bloomberg)
  • Capital One said that it was changing the way it structured lending for taxi licences as commercial pressures from ride hailing companies have reduced their value. (Auto Finance News)
  • Lyft said that it had partnered with Deem to include its service in the latter’s multi-modal travel for business applications. (More…)
  • Lyft has created its own autonomous vehicle lab called “Level 5” (a reference to the SAE designation of full autonomy). Saying that it wants to be “active” in the development of self-driving vehicles. Given Lyft’s existing relationships with a range of self-driving providers including Waymo, nuTonomy and GM/Cruise, the rationale for and scope of the exercise isn’t clear. (More…)
  • Careem has bought a stake in Egyptian start-up Swyvl an operator of a multi-modal service that directs users to the most appropriate private bus service for their trip. (More…)
  • Grab is in talks to raise $2 billion from a range of investors including SoftBank and Didi. (More…)
  • Uber announced that it would merge its business in Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kazakhstan with Russian ride-hailing company Yandex, giving Uber a 36.6% stake. The new company will also cover Armenia and George (where Uber currently has no presence). Uber will put $225 million into the new venture, in addition to the $170 million it says it has already invested in the region. The combined business will be about the same size as Lyft on a rides per day basis. (More…)
  • Uber has bought Swipe Labs, seemingly on the basis of the engineering talent rather than the product. The new team is expected to add user interface expertise to Uber’s existing capabilities. (More…)
  • Lyft announced that it had integrated several expense management platforms into its app for business customers. This change allows business users to automatically add the receipts for trips to their company’s system. (More…)
  • Daimler announced an investment in and cooperation with CleverShuttle, a company that creates software which lets public transport operators optimise routes depending on point in time passenger demand. (More…)
  • Freight-matching start-up Transfix has raised an additional $42 million (More…)
  • Uber said that it would partially suspend services in Finland. The UberBlack service (professional drivers) will continue but UberPop (unlicensed drivers) will be stopped until new regulations are put in place. (More…)
  • Spanish car sharing start-up Amovens announced that it had raised €5 million to enter the French market. (More…)
  • Russia’s Bakulin Motors Group announced that it would begin trials of driverless buses on a university campus. (More…)
  • Lyft said that it was now completing 1 million rides per day (memo: Uber is currently carrying out upwards of 6 million rides per day in more markets). (More…)
  • Zipcar said that it would withdraw from the Austrian market. (More…)

June

  • Uber said that it had now completed 5 billion trips. The milestone was passed on May 20th but only reported now. Since it reported hitting the 2 billion trips milestone (June 2016), it has averaged just under 9 million trips per day. During the first six months of 2016 the average was about 5.6 million per day. (More…)
  • Alphabet’s (Google) Waymo driverless car division announced an agreement with Avis to run its self-driving test fleet in Phoenix. The exact terms of the agreement (length of time, geography and exclusivity) were unclear. (..)
  • Hot on the heels of the Waymo / Avis tie-up, Bloomberg analysis showed that Apple were renting cars from Hertz’s contract hire subsidiary. Without any indication that Hertz are actually involved in the day-to-day running of the fleet (unlike Avis / Waymo), this seemed to be far more mundane than many media reports indicated. (More…)
  • South Korean firm Kakao Mobility (ride sharing, on-demand chauffeurs and navigation services) has raised $437 million for “aggressive expansion”. (More…)
  • Uber’s CEO resigned, having earlier taken a leave of absence. His departure now leaves a raft of C-suite roles vacant. (More…). The company also announced a “180 days of change” program to improve driver experience, in particular the introduction of tipping and improved cancellation and waiting time charges. (More…)
  • Ride-hailing firm myTaxi (controlled by Daimler) said it will buy Romanian company Clever Taxi for an “eight figure” sum. The company is reportedly interested in further acquisitions in Eastern Europe. (More…)
  • Europcar raised €175 million and announced that it is buying Spanish rental company Goldcar. (More…)
  • Volvo will acquire Swedish rental car company First Rent A Car. (More…)
  • Lyft unveiled a shuttle service in San Francisco that offers fixed fares along pre-determined routes. (More…)
  • Uber published the recommendations of a US law firm that had conducted an investigation into its culture. Among the suggestions were to appoint a strong COO and to have more independence on the board of directors. (More…)
  • As rumoured, Uber’s CEO is stepping down for an unspecified period. Within just a few days, SVP Emil Michael left and a board member resigned after making a sexist joke (More…)
  • Alibaba is reportedly in talks to invest in Grab’s latest fund-raising round which has a target of $1.5 billion. (More…)
  • Rental company EuropCar has made an investment in peer-to-peer car sharing firm SnappCar and now owns 20% of the start-up. (More…)
  • Chinese EV-only car sharing firm Ponycar is said to have raised $22 million. Rival Yibuyongche raised $19 million days earlier. Ponycar has around 2,000 vehicles in use and has said that currently it payback period for a new vehicle investment is 700 days. (More…)
  • JLR said that it had made a $25 million investment in Lyft via its InMotion subsidiary. The investment includes a technology collaboration and the supply of some JLR vehicles to Lyft. Although only announced now, the investment is part of a fund raising round that closed in April. Whilst JLR touted a multitude of benefits, Lyft said only that it was “excited to join forces”. (More…)
  • French car sharing firm Karos announced a white label partnership with a property developer that will allow the developer to create a fleet of vehicles in a business park it owns that can be used by tenants. (More…)
  • Lyft announced an updated set of climate goals following president Trump’s intention to leave the Paris climate agreement. Lyft is targeting 100% use of renewable energy for its electric fleet and that by 2025 Lyft will provide at least 1 billion rides per year in electric autonomous vehicles. (More…)
  • Car sharing firm Split said it was in talks with an OEM to launch on-demand car sharing through the manufacturer’s connectivity suite. Split currently provides a platform for co-workers to share lifts but is hoping to build a presence in consumer services. The potential OEM wasn’t mentioned by JLR are already an investor. (More…)
  • Middle East ride-hailing firm Careem said it had completed a $150 million fund raising, in addition to $350 million earlier in the year. Investors included Daimler. (..)
  • Spanish ride sharing start-up Cabify is reportedly seeking a new funding round of $300 million, having raised $100 million in April (More…)
  • Saw media profiling US ride sharing start-up Sitbaq. The service is similar to BlaBla in that rides are requested between two hours to seven days in advance. (More…)
  • Canadian car rental company Via Route said that it was buying rival Bleu Pelican. (More…)
  • Toyota subsidiary TFS announced a strategic investment in Finnish company MaaS Global, a start-up intending to build “the world’s first mobility ecosystem). (More…)
  • Ride-hailing platform provider Ridecell will supply the technology infrastructure for Gig Car Share. (..) and a new car-sharing scheme in Poland for Škoda (More…)
  • Daimler-owned Car2Go is making its registration process easier. New users of the service will no longer have to visit a validation point to register their licence. Many competitors already offer an online only service. (..)
  • Uber has reportedly fired over 20 employees following investigations into harassment and bullying and is considering whether the CEO should take a leave of absence. (..)
  • Uber is reportedly in talks to acquire the valet service and engineering know-how of Luxe. Although Luxe intends to continue operation, it has pivoted away from door-to-door valet services. (More…)
  • Uber saw its losses improve to $(708)m in Q1 2017. It’s head of finance is departing to join another start-up and the head of the self-driving unit (and Otto co--founder) Anthony Levandowski was fired for refusing to testify in Uber’s IP dispute with Waymo. (..)
  • Waze (owned by Google / Alphabet) will expand its ride pooling service from Los Angeles to the whole of California. The service matches riders and routes and gives the driver a small per mile reimbursement for fuel. (..)
  • Hertz offered a $1 billion debt issue. The company is looking to raise money to offset the effect of the fall in used car prices and re-finance existing debt. (..)
  • Intel released a report that they had commissioned from Strategy Analytics saying that the passenger transport business would be worth $7 trillion globally in 2050 (note: similar to other analysis). (..)

May

  • Uber wrote a blog post announcing some changes to the algorithm of its POOL service in New York. Amongst the changes, passengers will now be picked up and dropped off at what Uber determines is the most efficient point, rather than exactly where they asked. (..)
  • Brazilian ride sharing app 99 (aka 99taxis) said that it had $100 million from SoftBank, taking its latest funding round to $200 million. Most of the remainder came from Didi. (..)
  • There was renewed talk of a merger between car sharing companies DriveNow (BMW) and Car2Go (Daimler). The latest stories have a merger taking place in Q3 2017 and a new brand being established. Rumours of a tie up have circulated since December 2016. BMW’s partner in DriveNow, Sixt, has been openly opposed to the move but BMW reportedly now believes that it can convince Sixt to cooperate. (..)
  • Avis Car Rental is increasing the number of connected cars it has in the fleet -- to more than 50,000 by early 2018. (..)
  • A ban on Uber’s services in Italy (suspended pending appeal) was overturned by a higher court. (..)
  • Uber said that it had over-charged drivers in New York by failing to calculate commissions properly. (..)
  • Media profiled Los Angeles ride sharing start-up RideYayYo. The company provides drivers with cars free of charge. (..)
  • Paris public transport operator RATP is investing in the Paris operations of car sharing company Communauto. (..)
  • Europcar Group has agreed a deal to acquire German rental company Bunchbinder. Bunchbinder currently has 152 sites and around 20,000 vehicles. (..)
  • Uber announced Uber Freight, a business to match up drivers and loads. (..)
  • Bosch has announced a scheme that will offer self-service short term rental of 600 scooters in Paris. This is the first expansion after its initial scheme in Berlin. (..)
  • Uber received a ruling from the European Court of Justice that it should be regulated as a transport company. The ruling can be challenged and it is not clear what the implications for Uber’s business model would be. (..)
  • Daimler said that its Car2Go car sharing scheme had seen a significant increase in “cross-border” rentals in Q1 2017 with 33,000 journeys by customers visiting from other European countries using the local Car2Go service. (..)
  • BMW announced an agreement with the City of Hamburg to form a strategic partnership concerning urban mobility. As a part of this, the Hamburg fleet of DriveNow vehicles will expand to 550 cars by 2019 (400 pure electric, 150 PHEV) and the city will provide 1,150 charging points. (..)
  • Ola announced a partnership with Bharti Airtel, which media speculated was in part motivated by the high level of defaults Ola drivers are making on their car lease payments. (..)

April

  • Avis Budget noted that it was selling more used vehicles to ride hailing drivers. (..)
  • BMW received coverage for its efforts to improve the user experience of car-sharing and reduce the time it takes to access a vehicle. (..)
  • Didi Chuxing said that it has raised a further $5.5 billion, valuing it at more than $50 billion. (..)
  • Uber has reportedly changed the role of Anthony Levandowski (Otto founder, ex-Google employee and current lawsuit target). Although he will remain with Uber he will not be working on LIDAR (one of the key areas where Google says its IP has been infringed). (..)
  • Recently launched Californian ride sharing app RydenGo was issued with a cease-and-desist order because of improper licencing, even though it has not yet commenced operations (it is allowing users to sign up). (..)
  • Daimler announced an expansion of peer-to-peer car-sharing service Croove to additional German cities. (..)
  • Uber announced plans for airborne ride-sharing in Dallas and Dubai in 2020. There are 5 companies who are competing to supply the vehicles. (..)
  • Gett will buy New York based ride sharing company Juno for $250 million (the final value will reportedly depend on future performance of the combined entity). (..)
  • According to board member Hubertus Troska, Daimler is in talks with various Chinese ride hailing firms including Didi around possible cooperation. (..)
  • Uber had its operations in Brno, Czech Republic disrupted by a court injunction judging that there was insufficient driver training and vehicles must be equipped with taximeters. (..)
  • Toyota took part in a $45 million Series C funding round for car sharing service Getaround. (..)
  • Uber announced that vice president of global vehicle programs Sherif Marakby (hired from Ford) had left the company after joining around one year ago. (..)
  • Uber’s CEO has allegedly hired his own driver and stopped using the company’s services following negative PR after an argument with an Uber driver that was filmed and released on the internet. (..)
  • Uber released details of its 2016 financial results to Bloomberg, showing that it lost $3.8 billion in 2016 while gross revenue (total value of fares - not Uber’s take) was about $20 billion, a 126% year-over-year increase. (..)
  • Uber lost a case in Sao Paulo, Brazil where a judge ruled that drivers were employees and ordered Uber to pay damages including for loss of holidays. Uber is appealing the judgement. (..)
  • Saw New York City taxi medallion prices being used as a proxy for Uber’s The trend is downward, although there isn’t a clear consensus on the amount. (More...)
  • Uber had a block on its services in Italy lifted after a the decision was suspended so that Uber could appeal. (..)
  • Uber said that it is aiming for 10% of its fleet in the US city of Portland to be electric by 2019. (..)
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car Germany has acquired CARO Autovermietung - a company with 46 sites in Germany and more than 800 employees. (..)
  • A judge in Seattle issued a temporary block on a new city law that would have allowed drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionise (Source)
  • BlaBlaCar announced a scheme where drivers can lease Opel vehicles at discounted levels (Source)
  • Lyft raised $500 million for a latest valuation of $7.5 billion (Source)
  • Ola said that it will pilot using electric vehicles this year, with an eventual target of 1 million electric Ola vehicles in India over the next five years (Source)
  • Uber was criticised by UK politicians for the terms it requires drivers to sign. One MP called the contract “gibberish” and pointed out that although Uber have resisted English language tests for drivers, the contract was long and complex (Source)
  • The New York Times published an investigation into how ride hailing companies create incentives for drivers to stay available (Source)

March

  • Uber said it will end its service in Denmark, due to new taxi regulations
  • Uber released its first report on employee diversity (not counting drivers) -- media were divided on whether to single Uber out for not employing many women (which it doesn’t) or whether it was an issue across the technology sector
  • Didi was said to be contemplating a $6 bn investment round backed by Japanese firm SoftBank.
  • RydenGo was featured in the media for its different approach to ride hailing. Drivers will pay a $20 per month fee to be on the platform and then will bid for rides according to rates that they set for themselves.