NYC Driver-Owned Co-op Ride Looking to Crowdfund $1 Million to Spur Growth
The Drivers Cooperative is looking to raise money to fund growth. 'Co-op Ride' app has been downloaded more than 25,000 times and has 3,400 driver-members
The Drivers Cooperative, which is behind a new driver-owned NYC rideshare app, is looking to issue $1 million in debt to lenders in return for a limited share of future revenue. The debt funding would also keep company ownership in the hands of drivers (i.e., not giving up equity in business).
The Company is looking to capitalize on some high profile publicity and momentum (i.e., over 25,000 App downloads) with regulation crowdfunding, which allows companies to raise funding from non-accredited investors, such as those making less than $200,000 a year -- a group that usually can’t participate in early-stage investing.
The new funds will go toward salaries for engineering and operations staff, which have mostly been filled by volunteers to date. In addition, it will also help The Drivers Cooperative market the platform to drivers and passengers. Currently, it’s reported there are 3,400 driver-members and many them plan to invest in the new funding round.
“A lot of people are like, how are you going to put Uber and Lyft out of business? And I think our argument is, we don’t have to” - Alissa Orlando, Co-founder of Co-op Ride & former Uber operations manager
The Drivers Cooperative believes they can seize 10% of the market in New York by focusing on niches such as non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) and pre-arranged trips.
“I’ve been recommending it to my friends and now I’m already meeting people that have already got it installed. So I think that they’ve got quite a bit of momentum” - Ben Theunissen , Co-op rider
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