Uber and Lyft have not only disrupted the way we get around but created an entirely new labor economy that challenges the traditional employment model. Yet, the success of those two Silicon Valley “unicornsâ€–a term given to startups with a valuation over $1 billion–comes with a lot of pressure.
Uber, in particular, seems to continuously generate controversy. Perhaps Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s use of the word “Booberâ€ to describe how he was attracting women with his new-found fame and wealth in 2014 was a forecast for some of the company’s woes.
Since his remarks, UberÂ has come under fire for some of its weird and dangerous drivers; for its lack of employee diversity, particularly in management and engineering roles; and for accusations that its drivers routinely discriminate against African American customers.
Amid this drama, several black tech entrepreneurs have found ways to leverage the popularity of these ride-sharing services into their own ventures.
Adero Davis is the co-founder of Fair Fare. The app compares costs across different ride-sharing and taxi services and shows you the cheapest price–a Kayak for car serviceÂ if you will.
Fair Fare is still at a nascent stage. Davis and her team are working with KiwiTech, an IT services company and startup investor. So far, the app works in New York City, comparing prices between Uber, Lyft, and WayToRide.
She says the idea was born “out of frustration.â€ Living in New York, Davis became tired of the capricious pricing practices of ride-sharing services that will often charge surge prices when people most need car transportation. For Davis, it’s a way of making the cost of ride-sharing, more affordable.
Moovn is a black-owned ride-sharing service. Founder and CEO Godwin Gabriel has aggressively promoted and grown the company from its initial launch in six U.S. cities to its expansion to 125 cities across North American and Africa.
The Tanzanian-born Gabriel plans to expand to 105 additional cities by 2018.
Here are ways you can tap into the ride-sharing/service economy to make additional income or establish a new business of your own.