In-car commerce startup Cargo has raised $22.5m in a series A round of funding.
In other words, a budding new market has evolved out of the gig economy — and it’s the very people employed by the gig economy.
But first, Cargo…
The 2-year-old New York company partners with brands across confectionary, electronics, cosmetics, and more to offer ride-hailing passengers access to goods — like Clif Bars and Starburst and USB cables — during transit.
Since gig-ception, Cargo has worked as an “unofficial supplier” to drivers within the ride-hailing industry, allowing passengers to purchase goodies using the standard mobile-payment services.
But back in July, Cargo partnered with Uber to be the ride-hail giant’s exclusive global in-car commerce provider.
The gig-bang theory
The world of the gig economy blew up seemingly overnight around 2009, but as the honeymoon phase has worn off, giants of the industry like Uber have faced endless criticism over the poor wages they pay their drivers after expenses — largely because they pay sh*t.
Now, mini-startups are evolving out of its flagship entities.
Like Wrapify, a San Diego-based company that covers cars in advertising decals — a service that reportedly allows drivers to make an extra $300 to $400 a month on average, merely by driving.
And Cargo does the same
Cargo earns money through selling products, while drivers make a 25% commission on each sale, plus a $1 base for every passenger who orders from a Cargo box.
The recent round of funding, which brings Cargo’s total funds raised to $29m, will reportedly be used to continue growing domestically and internationally.
First launched in New York and Boston, the company has since expanded into several other cities and now claims 12k activated drivers.