Sidecar now offering same-day package delivery

Sidecar — just call it the ride-hailing service that could.

The San Francisco startup has neither the funding, the market share nor the raunchy headlines that Lyft and Uber do, and yet Sidecar is still kicking — and continuing to keep its much-bigger competitors on their toes.

Sidecar announced on Monday the formal launch of its on-demand package delivery service, which provides same-day delivery of groceries, flowers, prepared food and any number of daily essentials that can be ordered online. The service, which started in San Francisco, will now start a nationwide rollout.

Sidecar is entering a very crowded market. Uber provides package delivery in New York and Washington, D.C, and fast-food delivery in Southern California. Google Shopping Express provides same-day delivery in much of the Bay Area and five other cities, and Amazon has been beefing up its same-day delivery service for years. And eBay’s one-hour delivery service is still hanging in there.

But package and food delivery may help Sidecar persist in spite of its inability to catch up with Lyft and Uber in the ride-hailing business. In fact, two years ago, Sidecar Co-Founder and CEO Sunil Paul said customers were using Sidecar to get pizza and toiletries delivered, even though at that time the company had no formal delivery service.

Sidecar said it has been testing the delivery service for six months and it now accounts for 10 percent of the company’s ride volume in San Francisco. Sidecar said same-day delivery will represent half of its business by the end of 2015.

The company says its delivery prices are 80 percent cheaper than competitors’. Because Sidecar drivers can deliver both people and packages at the same time, they can make 75 percent more than driving people alone.


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