Generation “Uber for X” or a Universal Business Model
Artem Tymoshenko, Maxpay CEO shared his opinion about the “Uber for X” model and the most interesting start-ups built on it in his new article.
Uber – the service for hailing private drivers – is the fastest growing company of the decade. Back in 2009, Uber was a small start-up with no global plans. Over 8 years of existence the company has expanded its network to 600 cities around the world and raised about $11.5 billion in 14 funding rounds.
Such dizzying success is the dream of any startup. The popularity of Uber has contributed to the creation of many projects using similar technology in completely different sectors, such as product delivery, transportation or even travel. To quickly and easily explain the ideas of their startups, the founders started to compare their projects with Uber, calling them Uber for.
The terms “Uber for X” or Uberisation began to gain popularity back in 2013. Today they’re used by both newbies and experienced investors. Listed on AngelList are 526 companies in the description of which “Uber for” is used. On ProductHunt there’s even a separate startup category called Uber for X.
It is notable that the Uber for X model is universal and can be used in completely different niches. Below, I offer several examples that will help illustrate this
No time for shopping? The Instacart application is an “Uber for purchases”. The company, founded in 2012 by a former employee of Amazon Apurva Mehta provides its services throughout the United States. With the help of the service you can choose your favorite store, order products and delivery time and just wait for the delivery. In March of 2017, the company closed round D funding which attracted a $400 million investment.
Service for interactive communication between police and lawful citizens. Authors and developers call their start-up “Uber for Police”. “My Police” is a social project of the Noosphere Association headed by Maxim Polyakov. The main function of the application is an alarm button “SOS” – it allows one-click on the screen of the mobile phone to call the police, automatically sending data about the location of the user. Also, the app allows you to assess the professionalism of a policeman, receive notifications about the situation anywhere in the city and look at the map where the nearest police stations and medical facilities are located. In August of 2016 the service started its work in the Dnieper and after a year of testing the system is ready to start all over Ukraine and enter the international markets.
Flinja is a service known as the “Uber for work”. The company was founded in 2014 by Victor Young and Ken Miller. The Flinja model is more like the Uber model. The platform consists of two parts: the first is for employers, who are looking for students and interns, the second is for applicants themselves. In reality, Flinja is a market of actual vacancies where students can not only find work, but also acquire additional skills necessary for professional work. Investments in the Flinja project amounted to more than $1.2 million.
- Application from RTS (Recycle Track Systems)
RTS, also known as the “Uber for household waste,” was created by Adam Pascal and Gregory Lettieri in 2015. Despite the fact that the company is pretty young, the RTS project has already attracted more than $11 million of investments. The app offers users to order garbage pickup at a convenient time, as well as receive reports when the work is done. The service is convenient not only for individual clients but also for large retail chains, cafes, restaurants, etc.
- Firefly Aerospace
The model of “Uber for X” has become a universal helper for solving problems not only on Earth but also in near orbit. The project Firefly Aerospace, Uber for microsatellites, is developing light and ultralight vehicles to deliver cargo to near-earth orbit. Firefly Systems, the company’s original name, attracted nearly $22 million in 5 rounds. In September of 2016, Firefly did not close the deal with one of the investors and was forced to suspend work. Already in May 2017, the project was restarted thanks to Maxim Polyakov, the founder of Noosphere Ventures. Now the developers are testing the launch of the Beta missile capable of delivering cargo weighing up to 1.1 tons to the near-Earth orbit.
DoctorOnDemand – a service through which you can get medical help or arrange an online consultation with the right specialist by simply selecting the appropriate application on your smartphone. The project was founded in 2012 and belongs to Teladoc, Inc., a well-known provider of remote medical services. To-date, DoctorOnDemand has attracted funding of more than $86 million.
There are more non-standard start-ups based on the solution “Uber for X”. This vast list includes applications such as names as Minibar, Eros, and Ease.
The Minibar application, available to Apple and Android users, offers to order wine, beer, and alcoholic drinks without leaving your home. The company was created by Lindsey Andrews and Lara Crystal in May of 2013. “Uber for alcoholic beverages” is another promising area that is likely to be in demand in many countries.
The Ease project, also known as “Uber for marijuana,” is a new startup, headed by Don Bradshaw. With Ease, you can order marijuana or products containing it, delivered right to your home.
A new application called Eros, allows you to choose a partner for a night or escort service in countries such as the US, Canada, and the UK. The application has a staggering demand. Moreover, in June, Eros went to the ICO. The announced sum collected was $5 million. Fundraising ends on July 23, at the time of writing this article, the startup managed to raise $4,834,893.
Being an almost ideal model for building a successful business, Uber is used by many start-up companies as an example of quality service. Don’t forget that any startup has its own characteristics, which can not be ignored in the pursuit of the success of an “Uber”. After all, they helped create a completely unique product that surpasses any analogs in popularity.