Hey Uber! Are you going to let them steal your business?
SherpaShare, a Million Dollar startup, just announced their "pilot" concept to accept tips for drivers. Why are they being funded to come up with these ideas to cater to drivers needs? Because with a database of e-mails, phone-numbers, and on-demand account details, SherpaShare has the potential to infiltrate Uber's business with any ancillary services they can come up with. Is SherpaShare now gambling that by providing services that drivers grieve for, they can further monetize drivers & drivers' data as a result of Uber's neglect of it's own workforce?
Sherpa's first service launch was a dashboard of drivers' earnings statistics based off of their Uber weekly reports. While some more detail oriented drivers found this information helpful, it was speculated that the real value lay in the independent third-party data on Uber drivers that Sherpa was now compiling. But interestingly, to this date, Sherpa hasn't released comparative data on drivers earnings in any meaningful way, despite the recurring media attention to Uber's rate cuts and the resultant driver protests.
A lot of drivers use Sherpa for their mileage tracker app. In the US the fare prices for Uber are averaging $1 per mile. The IRS deduction for 2016 is .54 cents per mile. On average drivers incur one mile of unpaid "dead mile" for every mile of paid mile with a passenger in their cars. Uber only provides drivers with their mile statistics with a passenger in the car. Why would Uber not want to let their drivers know how much money they can deduct off of their taxes for mileage? Because then Ubers workforce would clearly see how much they are actually making as Uber drivers.
I can imagine a scenario where a company like Juno could entertain the idea of buying Sherpa for $10 million. That would be a very successful 2 years in business for SherpaShare; to fund for a million and sell for ten. Consider that Uber and Lyft pay double-sided bonuses averaging $400 for each new driver referral. What is the value of SherpaShare to Juno, if they have say 40,000 drivers in their database? 40,000 drivers * $400 referral/signup cost = $16 million. Suddenly $10 million sounds like a deal. And in the meantime SherpaShare has started to charge it's users for mileage tracking. As the review below from the Apple Store points out - there are already hundreds of free apps that offer this functionality. Is there a business here or a facade to create a very valuable e-mail list? Is Uber's business much more than a brand and an e-mail list of it's network of drivers?
Now Sherpa looks to venture into a subject so close to drivers hearts - gratuity, or as UberPeople.NET says "lack thereof". Sherpa is testing the waters with a system where passengers can text in to "vote" for a driver based on their performance and have a follow-up option to leave a monetary tip. But Sherpa is adamant they won't make money on this deal, they are just charging the fee to process the credit card and perhaps maintain the SMS service. But wait, has Sherpa upped it's game and is now going after the other half Uber's Network - the customer base of it's riders?
SherpaShare gathers all kinds of data on your workforce Uber. This data gives SherpaShare a crystal clear view of your Driver Operations. Doesn't that make you upset? You have drivers total mileage in your database Uber - Why won't you share that information with your workforce? I wonder how much money in taxes drivers are paying the Federal and State governments that they should be writing off. Your drivers have pleaded to allow in-app tipping, creating online petitions that have garnered support of 50,000 signees. Why not allow tipping in the app, Uber? Just as an option?
There has been a lot said that in some ways drivers are Uber's customers. Certainly it could be argued that the drivers are more customers of Uber than independent contractors. So Uber, why not listen to your customers?
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