$51 billion valuations. Hundreds of thousands of drivers. Tens of millions of riders. Companies like Uber and Lyft have ushered in an entirely new industry that has exploded, seemingly overnight. Several startups have emerged with unique, scalable opportunities for advertisers to win mindshare through rideshare. Here are a few of our favorite startups that are making the ridesharing experience more meaningful for customers and more profitable for drivers, while also creating greater opportunities for brands.
Grabb-It projects video advertising messages onto the outside of the vehicles’ passenger window to targets pedestrians and other drivers. The tiny projector inside the vehicle serves customized content onto a specifically cut material thin enough so you can roll the window up and down. Drivers earn extra money while they drive and advertisers can trigger based on geo-location, time of day, and a host of other digital OOH triggers.
This Israeli-based company connects the ridesharing experience to the physical world outside the vehicle by augmenting it with geo-aware information, retail offers, and entertainment – thus providing a customized AR experience. This real-time data is superimposed onto video feeds displayed on screens inside the vehicle from front and rear-facing cameras. Want to know the kinds of businesses you’re passing by during your ride or what’s playing at the theater you’re about to pass? White Raven allows you to do that and buy tickets for the show. It can also show you special sales curated specifically to your taste at the stores around you, with the ability to buy items during your ride.
Cargo offers mobile vending machines that can provide scalable sampling opportunities, as well as a new sales and distribution channel. Use your phone to pay for a host of products in this mobile convenience store while drivers earn a commission on the products they sell. For more integrated programs, Cargo can customize co-branded materials, packaging, referral incentives and special offers.
Ah, remember the good ol’ days when radio was the primary source of discovering new music? Steereo replicates that feeling by allowing new and emerging artists to target new fans on the go. Steereo tracks rider interactions to provide artists insights into how riders are listening to their music. Riders can choose different playlists based on genre or mood. Steereo is exclusively for rideshare vehicles, allowing drivers to earn pay and perks for playing new music during trips.
Taxi TV move over. Toronto-based Portl Media and Minneapolis-based Vugo provide entertaining, curated content to users through strategically-placed interactive screens inside ridesharing vehicles. Both offer the ability to play real-time dynamic ads based on location and targeted businesses as well as the standard content of movie trailers, trivia, the news, etc.
Similarly, Surf, based in Arizona places free interactive tablets and provides Uber and Lyft drivers with free monthly 4G LTE internet service. Their media content is managed by day, time, location and passenger profile to make sure of the best audience fit.
Advertisers are being challenged to reach their specific consumers at the right time, in the right place, and at scale, which is wildly challenging given media fragmentation and how often people are on the go. These startups provide unique experiences for consumers and memorable ways for brands to add value and connect with their audience in captive environments.
Want insight on the top startups and emerging technologies to drive your business forward? Join us at CES 2019, where we will be hosting curated, private pitch sessions from startup founders and guided tours on the global startup floor. Contact us to learn more.