The next time you have food delivered in Seattle, it could very well be a Sidecar driver showing up at your front door.
The San Francisco-based startup announced today that it has partnered with food delivery company Eat24 in Seattle and will start using its drivers — who in the past strictly shuttled people, not food, around town — to deliver food.
In February, Sidecar rolled out its same-day delivery program that is built on the mobile-based technology and independent drivers which already power its on-demand transportation app. After starting in the Bay Area, it has since expanded the program to Boston and Los Angeles, and today it goes live in the Emerald City.
Sidecar is working with e-commerce, food, flower, and grocery companies to deliver items that are often in the trunk of a car that’s also driving people around town. Sidecar said it can offer a cheaper price point and faster deliveries than traditional companies in the delivery industry.
“By integrating delivery with ride-sharing and our large network of drivers, we’ve created the fastest, most affordable and scalable delivery service for e-commerce companies,” the company wrote last week. “This innovative approach to same-day delivery is a win for shippers, drivers and riders.”
Sidecar’s delivery service is quickly becoming a large part of its total revenue, as the startup reported earlier this month that 25 percent of its total rides provided in the Bay Area are now deliveries, up 15 percent from last month. The company said that deliveries will account for half of its business by the end of 2015.
“Our vision is that one day any business will be able to take an order and get it to the customer in an hour, and Sidecar will be the service that powers this capability,” the company said.
If that vision sounds familiar, it should — there’s a bevy of companies in the same-day delivery space. Among them include Amazon, which in December introduced a one-hour delivery service for its Prime members and expanded its same-day delivery service in seven cities last year. The Seattle online giant has also partnered with the taxi-hailing app Flywheel to test package delivery in some markets and is quickly developing its drone delivery program.
Uber, meanwhile, has tested a drug store delivery service, and there’s a host of other companies like Google, eBay, Walmart, Instacart, Postmates, WunWun, and Deliv offering ways for customers to have items delivered within 24 hours.
While Sidecar is far behind fellow ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft in terms of capital raised and total users — the company is operates in 10 U.S. markets and has raised $35 million to date — it has been aggressive to push out innovative new services. For example, it rolled out a carpooling option called Shared Rides before Uber tested out UberPool and Lyft introduced Lyft Line.
Initially, Sidecar is only partnering in Seattle with Eat24, which was acquired by Yelp last month for $134 million.