"We're all about grabbing onto the biggest trends in tech before they're
mega-trends. So that takes us back to 2016, when we first came up with the
idea. Whenever a major new trend emerges, it's the job of the truly innovative
to step back and say 'OK, this is an explosively great idea - so what's wrong
with it?' When you figure that out, and you've got the right network and the
right people behind you, you can jump in on one of the biggest trends and
disrupt a massive market at exactly the right time," Navaratnam said.
One problem for Uber was timing: This great idea emerged simultaneously with
environmentally friendly investing, and both became more than passing fads but
they haven't quite kept step with one another.
It's all about choice these days, and the disruption here is Facedrive's offer
of choice to the customer, who can seamlessly choose whether they want an EV or
a hybrid, rather than a conventional car. And even if they choose conventional,
they're still making a green choice because the CO2 is being offset for them.
That's a millennial must.
It's also an investor must that's attracting some huge names.
The drive for lower emissions has sparked the interest of commercial global
mega-banks. Scotia Bank has already pledged over $100 billion to lower carbon
emissions TD bank has also pledged billions. As larger more forward-thinking
firms want to be associated with the ride-sharing company that has finally
understood the market.
Nor has it gone unnoticed by celebrities, including Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Facedrive has invested
in the celebrity couple's WestBrook Global Inc., which gives them access not
only to content distribution monetization on the side, but also to some 120
million additional social media followers.
The Green Ride of a Lifetime
The biggest negative impact associated with the explosive popularity of
ride-hailing is pollution.
A recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates
that the average (U.S.) ride-hailing trip results in 69% more pollution than
whatever transportation option it displaced.
That's a huge number, that scientists estimate is actually higher in densely
populated areas. In this age of green investing, this is data that millennials
find hard to swallow.
But now, they don't have to. Now they can plant a tree every time they take a
offsets any CO2 emissions, and for the very first time in ride-sharing history,
gives customers the choice to be even more environmentally conscious.
innovative, state-of-the-art, technology. FD's in-app algorithm calculates
estimated CO2 emissions for each car journey and allocates an equivalent
monetary value to the local organizations to plant trees. They have partnered
with Forest Ontario and have planted over 3,500 trees last year in their soft
Facedrive allows its riders to choose between EVs, hybrids and traditional
cars. It's a choice no one's ever given to consumers, and it means that it
pleases everyone. For all those riders who are fine with the conventional,
Facedrive is by no means sidelining them. They're just offsetting the related
And it also resonates with the wallet because riders aren't paying a premium
Local communities will also reap the benefits, which means that officialdom
should be solidly on board.
Millennials Win Ride-Hailing Battle for Supremacy
The ride-sharing giants have been pushing for diversification with hefty
bets on food and grocery delivery, scooter and bike rentals and even a
proto-bank like Uber Money. Facedrive, too, is pushing diversification from the
starting gate, with green delivery services.
But what the giants have ignored is environmental pressure--and that's exactly
where this battle for supremacy could be decided.
Millennial investors are nearly twice as likely to invest in companies or funds that
target specific social or environmental outcomes.
And now, comes the next push, as Facedrive slides things into fifth gear by
expanding into the U.S. and European markets in Q3-Q4 of 2020.
Ride-sharing has already been overwhelmingly sold to the public. That means
that the next-gen, green version of this $235-billion global business doesn't
have to fork over a ton of capital to convince the market. They don't have to
pile on losses and some day hope for profitability. They just have to be green.
It's Uber. Just better for the environment. And it's exactly what millennials
Other tech companies poised to ride the ride-share boom:
Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER)
The big story in tech last year was the Uber IPOâ€”the ride-sharing app joined
the market with a tepid showing, and it hasn't done much business since.
It's the cherry on top of a cake of trouble for the revolutionary tech company,
which has suffered from a mountain of bad press. It's controversial CEO Travis
Kalanick was forced out over his behavior and the company's struggle to
generate revenue, but the new management hasn't been able to do much better.
Bears have been circling the wagons for a while, warning the Uber's ration is
unsustainable. But bulls have been quick to point out how other revolutionary
tech companies like Amazon and Facebook posted losses after their IPOs, before
going on to become fabulously profitable.
Plus, Uber's losses are linked to its IPO and its rapid expansion rate: once
the company solidifies its dominance of ride-sharing and makes inroads to
self-driving cars, Uber's profits are likely to prove sturdy.
Moreover, while $5 billion sounds like a lot, it pales in comparison with what
other big companies have suffered through-GM posted $48 billion loss in 2009, and it's held on
Lyft may be a bit overvalued, but it's still sustainable.
Lyft went public in March for $87.24 and hit $88.60 on the first day of
It's shed over half that and has been treading water ever since. Lyft's next
earnings report is due on October 30th.
But $36 makes this a cheap stock for a ride-sharing market that's killing taxi
cabs and cutting in on car sales, too.
Right now, Lyft is valued at 4x its sales, and it's still losing moneyâ€”like
Uber. But it does have over $3 billion in cash, and it is investing in
micro-mobility, too, through bike-sharing startups.
While they err on the side of pricey, coming in at $3,800 per unit, they do
boast a high top speed and can travel a modest distance on a single charge.
The kicker for many, however, is that they can fold into an easily carriable
pack, making them the perfect choice for a lot of commuters. Especially in big
cities like London or Berlin.
(NYSE:F) is taking a different approach. It's swooped right
into the scooter market, buying Spin for a clean $100 million.
Initially deployed in San Francisco back in 2017, Spin is widely considered to
be a part of the Big Three of the scooter world, along with Lime and Bird.
While Ford's buyout of Spin made headlines, it's certainly not the first
urban transportation alternative Ford's sunk its teeth into.
In recent years, Ford also bought commuter shuttle service Chariot, Autonomic
and TransLoc, aiming to ensure that it does not miss the boat as this new
BAIDU (NYSE:BIDU), for its part, is taking on the automated car market. With more miles under its belt than any of its competitors in
Beijing, it's an easy choice for a number of investors.
Likewise, it has an equally large portfolio of innovative new technologyâ€¦at a
lower entry point than its competitors.
As the 'Chinese Google,' Baidu is following a similar path to its American
counterpart. It began as a search engine but is quickly expanding into almost
all things tech related.
From artificial intelligence to television and finance, Baidu's ever-expanding
reach is a not to be ignored. Especially for investors looking to stay on top
of the new tech trends.