The popular car-sharing startup Lyft, part of the exploding ride-share market that’s also dominated by Uber and SideCar, recently finished a round of funding that totaled $60 million. The company leverages smartphones to provide alternatives to traditional forms of public transportation. Lyft is another example of the peer-to-peer economy, where people interact over the internet to exchange goods and services with the common goal of getting things done. Other, non-transportation related examples are Airbnb for lodging and TaskRabbit for everyday chores. Companies are picking up on this trend, with Pepsi using TaskRabbit to promote its soda by offering free bottles of Pepsi in exchange for undertaking people’s daily chores. Products like these attack structural inefficiencies within existing markets, and leverage new technology to undercut the problems at hand. Today, millions drove to work with empty seats in their cars; Lyft’s goal is to provide a pain-free, efficient method to fill them.
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