As the transportation tech industry expands its reach, venture capital, PE and even hedge fund investors appear to be picking their horses. Last August, car service app Uber raised one of the largest investments of 2013, taking $258M from investors including Google Ventures, TPG Capital and Benchmark Capital. Meanwhile, on-demand ride-sharing app Lyft appears to be raising another large funding round with Coatue Management as a rumored investor. Lyft last raised $60M just 9 months ago from Andreessen Horowitz.
But as Uber and Lyft add to their war chests, are other venture-backed car-sharing and mobile taxi startups going to be left out? We dug into our App Store and financing data to see which apps were trending ahead of (and behind) the pack as well as who has not raised funding in a while and may be on the ropes, an acqui-hire or who might have something big in the works which remains undisclosed.
Car-Sharing & Mobile Taxi App Store Rankings Comparison
Below is some recent App Store rankings data for 10 venture-backed players in the taxi and car sharing space with U.S. operations. Of the apps, Uber and Lyft dominate in the U.S. App Store rankings in the ‘Travel’ category. Competing e-hailing apps Hailo and Taxi Magic have trended near each other in the top 100 since October. Both Lightspeed Venture Partners-backed Sidecar and Shasta Ventures-backed e-hailing startup Flywheel have ranked in the top 200 ‘Travel’ apps over the period but have not been able to sustain any upward momentum in the rankings.
There are others also that have not been able to shake their ranking doldrums. Carma Carpooling, an app operated by Ireland-based Avego, has only entered the top 1000 sporadically. Car-sharing marketplace Getaround and RelayRides have trended behind the pack as well, though RelayRides has seen its App Store ranking make a notable jump in February. T-Venture-backed European e-hailing startup MyTaxi has also ranked outside the top 200 U.S. ‘Travel’ apps (though it only entered the U.S. market relatively recently)
Car-Sharing & Mobile Taxi VC Financing Comparison
The chart below highlights the wide disparity in financing between Uber and other venture-backed companies operating in the transportation tech market. In fact, Uber has raised more funding than all other nine startups combined.
Peeling back total months since last funding round, we see that while Lyft’s rumored raise would be its second in just 9 months, others including Avego (Carma) have not raised in over two years.
Interestingly, Google Ventures holds stakes in competitors Uber and Sidecar, as well as P2P car sharing startup Relay Rides. SideCar has not raised funding in over a year while Relay Rides disclosed $5.9M in new funding in an Sept. 2013 SEC filing. Given Google Ventures’ notable investment in Uber, it appears Google Ventures has picked who they believe the winner in the space is going to be.
Update: Sidecar disclosed a $10M funding round from investors including Union Square Ventures and Softbank Capital on 2/19/2014 as well as a pivot to a ride-sharing ‘marketplace.’ Sidecar now counts $20M in disclosed funding. The charts above have been updated to reflect the additional financing. Note: Google Ventures did not participate in Sidecar’s latest funding round.
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