Trending: Thousands of Amazon employees to party with singer Lorde at CenturyLink Field in Seattle

Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul.
Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul.

In a blog post penned today, Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul confirmed that General Motors acquired his ride-hailing company and explained why the deal happened.

Bloomberg first reported on Tuesday that GM had agreed to swoop up San Francisco-based Sidecar, hiring its 22 employees and obtaining the company’s technology and codebase.

In a post titled “Why we sold to GM,” Paul writes that Sidecar was unable to compete against Uber — “a company that raised more capital than any other in history and is infamous for its anti-competitive behavior,” he noted.

“The legacy of Sidecar is that we out-innovated Uber but still failed to win the market,” Paul added. “We failed — for the most part — because Uber is willing to win at any cost and they have practically limitless capital to do it.”

sidecar212Indeed, Sidecar introduced many new ride-hailing innovations that Uber and Lyft would later implement, like carpooling, for example. It also stayed away from surge pricing and showed customers ride rates before they hailed a driver.

But the company’s ride-hailing product couldn’t compete with Uber, which has raised more than $8 billion, and Lyft, which has raised $2 billion. Sidecar raised $35 million since launching in 2012. It announced that it was shutting down last month.

Importantly, Paul also wrote about Sidecar’s patents, and including US Patent #6356838 for “System and method for determining an efficient transportation route.” 

“The key component to the transaction is a license to Sidecar patents,” Paul wrote. “Sidecar retains ownership of those patents.”

TechCrunch has a good analysis on what Sidecar will do with those patents — they could, for example, enforce them, or start a new business with them.

Paul will not be working for GM and will take a break before “starting my next thing,” he said.

“I wish every member of Sidecar all the best,” he wrote. “GM now has one of the most innovative, fastest-moving teams in Silicon Valley working for them.”

GM, meanwhile, is making a serious effort to compete in the ride-hailing arena. On top of the Sidecar acquisition, the car giant earlier this month announced a $500 million investment in Lyft, as both companies will team up to develop a “network of on-demand autonomous vehicles.”

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


Job Listings on GeekWork

Senior Full Stack Engineer, Semantic ScholarThe Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2)
General Manager, Semantic ScholarAllen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Full Stack EngineerSparta Science
IT Operations ManagerHarnish Group, Inc., N C Machinery
Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.