In the past couple of weeks two companies have announced their entry into the Ride Share Advertising Services business. Uber is testing the waters with Cargo and Wrapify launched a Static+ ride share topper.
- Cargo raised USD 30M back in 2016 to put snack boxes in Uber vehicles. For a while they were flying high but the harsh realities of the market has hit them hard and they’ve recently closed that business. Whilst they claim that drivers earned USD 13 million by distributing 12 million products to 35 million passengers it was never going to be a sustainable business. Anyhow, they now have a partnership with Uber where they are putting LED screens on a roof rack and putting them on Uber cars. Yes, Uber is testing the digital top waters BUT they have chosen to partner with a company with zero experience in Digital Out of Home.
- Wrapify which already bills itself as the performance-driven ad tech platform for brands powered by OOH and the gig economy, recently announced the launch of the Static+ Rideshare Topper. The Static+ Rideshare Topper is described as a proprietary product and nationally-scalable medium that utilises Wrapify’s unique Attribution Suite and Physical Retargeting capabilities, allowing brands to place advertisements on top of the modern-day taxi, including Uber and Lyft rideshare vehicles.
James Heller, CEO and co-founder of Wrapify said “Taxi top advertising in New York is a USD 30 million industry, and in the last few years, many companies have failed to enter the market to replicate this success. Now, with our Static+ Rideshare Topper, we are paving the way for more organizations to capitalize on this effective form of advertising. Over the last five years, we’ve built a strong operational network that has allowed us to construct this smart product at scale, allowing access for more organizations to utilize this effective form of advertising. As the largest rideshare specific platform, we’ve designed the Static+ Rideshare Topper to not only serve brands, agencies and publishers, but to also create a new opportunity for rideshare drivers to monetize their time on the road by earning money for miles they are already driving each day.”
Whilst Wrapify has a nationwide network of verified drivers using their app and certified installers supporting brand campaigns this is a new business that will, quite simply, not work.
Everyone of the companies that has raised money to build a business putting advertisements on or in Ride Share cars has abandoned their original core mission (Firefly, Cargo, Wrapify). Firefly is now trying to work with taxis and Wrapify has effectively said the same thing.
There may be hundreds of thousands of ride share drivers but IMHO you cannot build a business when the driver pool churns every few months and the ones who stick with it don’t actually spend a ton of time on the road.
Taxis are the superior platform for advertising services. We will see a lot of investor money lost figuring that out!