By Andy Cohen
With combined market caps of some $70 billion, Uber and Lyft are severely disrupting the giant auto industry. But their business models are broken, and the giant disruptors may about to be disrupted themselves.
That $70 billion for Uber and Lyft is the same as the top three American automakers–GM, Ford and Chrysler–combined.
Now, a startup that launched in late 2019 in Canada is looking to challenge them.
Facedrive (TSXV:FD,OTC:FDVRF) is leading the evolution of shared mobility, and it’s got the new business model to lure in big capital that’s tired of the big competitors’ cash burn, bad press and endless unprofitability.
It’s sharp, sleek, ultra-high-tech, eco-friendly and it does three things that no ride-sharing company has ever done:
It is the first to offer EVs and hybrids, and to plant trees to offset its carbon footprint.
It brings cities and communities on as stakeholders, rather than defying them, and treats its drivers as people who deserve living wages.
It views shared mobility as much more than a ride and has launched multiple revenue streams that take advantage of the rider relationship.
And now, it’s going global after a series of smart acquisitions and new service launches that have positioned it to be a key challenger to the shared mobility throne.
It’s hard to argue with the $30-billion-plus megatrend of sustainable investing that says disruption is in order.
Here are 5 Reasons to keep a close eye on Facedrive right now:
#1 Facedrive Has What Big Capital Wants
There’s a reason BlackRock is blowing Wall Street out of the water right now–sustainable investing.
ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing isn’t just a fad anymore–it’s minting millionaires and billionaires. It’s in high demand, and it’s pressuring companies to make major changes. It’s the ethical squeeze of the century.
From Jeff Bezos’ $10-billion commitment to a Global Earth Fund to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, we’re now seeing major ESG assets under management. BlackRock will increase its ESG assets from $90 billion to $1 trillion within a decade.
And word on the street is that BlackRock has now replaced Goldman Sachs to become the most important banking company in the world. BlackRock is all about technology, and all about mitigating risk through sustainable companies.
That’s exactly what Facedrive is all about, too.
And it fixes things that are wrong with giants Uber and Lyft in the high-tech, shared-mobility world that has lifted BlackRock to “4th branch of government” status.
Ride-sharing has been anything BUT sustainable. It’s having a hugely negative impact on the environment, with estimates that the average ride-hail results in nearly 70% more pollution than whatever transportation it displaced. That’s hardly the choice for eco-conscious Millennials.
Facedrive’s next-gen ride-sharing is the first to offer customers a choice for every ride; whether they want an EV, a hybrid, or a conventional car. Then it offsets CO2 by planting trees along the way.
The Canadian startup has positioned itself to help solve ride-sharing’s environmental problem by changing its footprint, —and aims to do so without sacrificing profit, which Uber may never even make anyway.
Although Facedrive offers competitive journey fares, riders do not pay a premium for CO2 emissions offsetting while drivers do not lose any of their fares to pay for the green initiative.
Facedrive’s green strategy is simple yet highly effective and cheaper than fancier solutions being adopted by some so-called big companies.
Globally each year, plants remove about 25% of the carbon emissions produced by human activities such as burning fossil fuels while a similar amount ends up in the oceans. So, Facedrive is getting back to Mother Nature–and millennials and investors are loving it.
That puts Facedrive squarely in the middle of two megatrends: The disruption of the predicted to be $8 trillion transportation service industry and the shift of big money into sustainable investing, which already topped $30 billion in 2018.
Carbon-neutral ride-sharing ticks every box with the new kings of Wall Street.
#2 On the Front Lines of COVID
A few weeks ago, as global COVID-19 deaths topped 355,000, Facedrive had rolled out top-notch coronavirus tracking tech –and then landed a major contract immediately.
The Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) announced it would adopt Facedrive’s TraceSCAN digital COVID-19 contract-tracing app to protect the health and safety of its 130,000 members and their families in Canada.
That’s a huge boost for a brand new, high-tech app developed in a joint initiative by Facedrive Health and the University of Waterloo.
The TraceSCAN app and wearables provide contact tracing to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Using Bluetooth technology, TraceSCAN alerts users with a notification if they have come in contact with an individual who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
The next logical step here for Facedrive is to market to other unions and councils—and possibly even the Canadian government—to jump on the TraceSCAN bandwagon.
#3 Revenue from Multiple Angles
But this is about short term and long term … and now that we’ve seen the tech Facedrive can develop, watch it also capture the explosive food delivery industry by applying its new business model to absolutely every rider-relationship revenue stream it can think of.
And it’s going for full-on involvement.
Kicking off its aggressive expansion drive in the food delivery segment, Facedrive entered into a binding term sheet to acquire the assets of Foodora Canada, a subsidiary of the $20-billion multinational food delivery service Delivery Hero, which operates in over 40 countries and services more than 500,000 restaurants.
Facedrive’s acquisition of the Foodora Canada food delivery business will give it hundreds of thousands of customer names and over 5,500 new restaurant partners for just a part of the high-tech mobility company’s revenue-generating ecosystem.
Worth $24 billion already in 2018 and set to top $98 billion by 2027, the global food delivery market is now officially at war. And it’s a war even more ferocious than streaming.
The stakes have never been higher for the delivery industry, whose giants are burning cash like crazy and still unsure they will ever turn a profit.
The name of the game now for some is consolidation–at any price.
But this war is ripe for a new alliance to disrupt a fast growing industry that is now hated on multiple fronts, with restaurants held prisoner to delivery bullies, prompting some city authorities to step in to cap commissions.
While Uber is prepared to pay a premium for the Grubhub–the delivery service with the biggest US market share–Facedrive the new face of “sharing”, is cutting a food delivery acquisition deal for what looks like pennies on the dollar.
The winner of this war will be the new sharing business model that defies the out-of-control cash burn, broadens the revenue potential and wins the hearts and minds of every stakeholder in the chain, including drivers and restaurants.
Globally, only Delivery Hero comes out of this heroically–among the giants. That company even refers to itself as the “United Nations of food delivery”. That’s because it spans 28 brands in over 40 countries. And it makes restaurants happy instead of gouging them.
Delivery Hero’s success is all about the marketing, which everyone else is getting wrong, according to Forbes. It’s been summed up by Delivery Hero CMO Mats Diedrichsen like this: The ‘Big Picture” is to turn “brand interest into brand love” with a marketing approach that goes “beyond audience segmentation to drive deep emotional connection.”
And for Canada, Facedrive wants to be that emotional connection.
This new acquisition should give Facedrive a huge revenue boost, challenging struggling competitors such as Uber Eats and Skip The Dishes.
Overnight, Facedrive is set to position itself into the top echelon of Canadian food delivery services. Then targeting global expansion.
Plus a line-up of other revenue-generators in its brilliant ecosystem …
That includes Facedrive Health, a comprehensive health initiative timed for rapid deployment to the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Facedrive Healthcare includes everything from discounted rides for healthcare workers and specialized vehicles for anyone with additional needs, to contactless delivery of essential over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies, including high-tech management of automatic refills.
There’s nothing that shared mobility can’t touch, if it’s got the right branding …
#4 Branding: Mighty Merch With Celebrity Appeal
Shared mobility isn’t just about hitching a ride. Facedrive is trying to make it an entire lifestyle megatrend. That’s what the giants just don’t get. It’s about convenience, connecting, and community. That’s what it’s about because that’s what Millennials want, and they are the driving force of money behind all of this.
Uber’s brand is associated with … bad press, mostly. The service everyone loves to hate and hates to love because there hasn’t been much choice.
Branding is everything, and that’s where Facedrive is armed to the hilt in this war for positive branding.
Facedrive is associated with the community, with benefits for all stakeholders, with sustainability
… with lifestyle.
Its motto is “people and planet first”, and it has attracted some huge names, including Will Smith.
The Facedrive brand is aiming to become a household name. Will Smith’s Bel Air Athletics clothing brand is betting that Facedrive is the ride of the future. That’s why he’s co-branding an entire line of exclusive clothing with Facedrive.
It’s also why WestBrook Inc., the company he shares with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, is partnering with this ride-share startup that is now expanding globally to challenge Uber for the throne.
Even better: Bel-Air Athletics is green and in line with Facedrive principles as the goal is to ensure by next year that all clothing materials are 100% sustainably sourced.
Over 1,000 new products co-branded by Bel Air and Facedrive have launched on the Facedrive marketplace website and the demand has been great
#5 The New Silicon Valley
Facedrive, is one of the biggest things to emerge from Ontario’s ‘Technology Triangle’, also called “Waterloo”. It’s not only Canada’s answer to Silicon Valley, but it’s also fast growing as a startup tech hub.
And Sayan Navaratnam is the Canadian billionaire mastermind behind it all. He caught on to the megatrend of sustainable investing years ago. Already in 2016, he saw where Uber and Lyft were going to fail, and where big money was going to run.
“We’re all about grabbing onto the biggest trends in tech before they’re mega-trends. So that takes us back to 2016, when we first came up with the idea. Whenever a major new trend emerges, it’s the job of the truly innovative to step back and say ‘OK, this is an explosively great idea – so what’s wrong with it?’ When you figure that out, and you’ve got the right network and the right people behind you, you can jump in on one of the biggest trends and disrupt a massive market at exactly the right time,” Navaratnam told us earlier this year.
Facedrive launched in Q3 2019, and already we’re looking at explosive news flow and a string of smart acquisitions–all leading to global expansion plans.
The deal timeline has been so fast-paced that’s it’s hard to keep up:
- First, in April, it acquired HiRide–another ‘Technology Triangle’ innovator that came out of Ontario’s version of “Shark Tank”, “Dragon’s Den”, giving Facedrive access to the entire user base of a unique long-distance car-pooling solution for students and professionals. For its expansion plans, that gives Facedrive the first mile, last mile and … long mile.
- Over the next two months, without missing a beat, it launched a string of new revenue-generating services from Facedrive Foods and Facedrive Health to COVID-19 TraceScan, and even its own exclusive line of Bel-Air clothing co-branded with Will Smith.
- Then in early May, it landed a deal with the North American labor union to use TraceScan …
- Days later, it announced plans to acquire Foodora Canada from Delivery Hero in a deal that solidifies the launch of Facedrive Foods … with a bang.
- Launched Marketplace with Westbrook
What we have here is a company that is working to monetize every angle of its high-tech sharing experience right out of the blocks–all without butting heads with regulators or making enemies out of local officials.
What we have is a potential challenger to the shared mobility throne, in more ways than one. It’s exactly the sustainability that Big Money is looking for –and while some may be sleeping while Facedrive prepares for global expansion, others are very awake.
Other companies capitalizing on new market trends:
BlackRock needs no introduction. It is the world’s largest global investment management corporation, with over $7.4 trillion in assets under management. With clients in over 100 different countries, it is the de facto leader in its field.
In 2017, BlackRock underwent a major shift in its investment strategy, prioritizing stocks with high ESG ratings. BlackRock’s focus on technology and sustainability has fueled the new trend in the marketplace, pushing even more investors to consciously consider where they put their money.
Facebook, as one of the world’s largest technology companies, has completely changed the game. It has taken a particularly innovative approach in creating a more sustainable future and has become an example for the entire industry. Its data centers are some of the most energy-efficient – and water-efficient – in the world.
And it’s only getting started. By the end of 2020, Facebook is aiming to have all of its data centers running on 100% renewable energy. Additionally, Facebook has committed to adding over 4.0 GW of renewable energy to the grid.
Google is another tech giant going green. It is focused on raising the bar for smart use of the world’s resources. Like Facebook, Google is creating sustainable, energy-efficient data centers and workplaces. It is also leveraging artificial intelligence to develop more sustainable energy use.
Not only is Google changing the game in its own operations, it is also building a completely sustainable supply chain. And it isn’t stopping there. It is also working with its partner companies to help them go green!
Tesla might just be one of the hottest stocks in the ESG space. As one of the world’s most innovative car manufacturers, it has single handedly made going green cool. Its slick design has become all the rage. You would have to go out of your way to not see a Tesla when walking around major cities like San Francisco and Hong Kong.
And CEO Elon Musk hasn’t stopped there. In addition to producing one of the most desirable electric vehicles on the market, Tesla is ramping up its solar game, as well. Tesla’s Solar Roof project aims to change the way houses function. It replaces traditional roofs with stronger, and arguably more aesthetically pleasing, solar panels that can power your entire home. It also comes in as the lowest-cost-per-watt solar option in the American market.
Microsoft is going above and beyond in its emissions goals, aiming to be carbon neutral in the next ten years. A feat that will not be an easy task for such a massive technology corporation. Additionally, Microsoft is has also pioneered new solutions to aid other companies in curbing their emissions as well.
Microsoft has built hardware and software to help monitor and better understand the effect of different institutions have on the planet, gathering data to better figure out how companies and people can improve. The company is creating tools to better handle the b the world’s growing waste crisis.
Shopify Inc (TSX:SH)
Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company. More than 1,000,000 businesses rely on Shopify’s real-time e-commerce, including Tesla, Budweiser and Red Bull, among many others. Shopify makes purchasing goods and services easy for anyone – and in a time where convenience is king, Shopify surely has staying power.
In addition to its revolutionary approach on e-commerce, Shopify is also delving into blockchain technology, making it a promising pick for investors in sustainability.
Shaw Communications Inc (TSE:SJR.B)
Shaw owns a ton of infrastructure throughout Canada and its cloud services and open-source projects look to address some of the biggest issues that its customers might face before the customers even face them. Shaw’s dominance in Canada’s telecom sector means that if any internet-based services want to operate, they’ll likely be utilizing the company’s infrastructure. After all, without telecoms, these TaaS companies would not be able to operate.
BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE)
Like Shaw, BCE is a Canadian telecom giant. Founded in 1980, the company, formally The Bell Telephone Company of Canada is composed of three primary subsidiaries. Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline and Bell Media, however throughout its push into the position of one of Canada’s top telco groups, it has bought and sold a number of different firms.
BCE is also at the forefront of the Internet of Things movement in Canada. Its Machine to Machine solutions are being used by numerous businesses, including TaaS providers throughout North America and its new LTE-M network is sure to rapidly increase the adoption of these solutions.
Polaris Infrastructure (TSX:PIF)
Polaris is a Toronto-based renewable energy giant with a global footprint. The company’s biggest projects are in Latin America. It’s Nicaragua geothermal project, for example, is already producing over 77 MW of renewable electricity. And in Peru, its El Carmen and 8 de Augusto power plants, is set to produce a combined 17MW of electricity in the near future.
Westport Fuel Systems (TSX:WPRT)
Westport is a renewable energy provider for the transportation industry. it provides systems for less impactful fuels, such as natural gas. In North America alone, there are over 225,000 natural gas vehicles. But that shies in comparison to the global 22.5 million natural gas vehicles globally, which means the company still has a ton of room to grow!
While renewable providers clearly take the lead, Canada’s tech and telecom giants won’t be left out!
By. Andy Cohen
This publication contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this publication include that the demand for TaaS and ride sharing services will grow, and transportation as a service industry will reach $8 trillion; that the demand for environmentally conscientious ride sharing services companies in particular will grow quickly and take a much larger share of the market; that Facedrive’s marketplace will offer many more sustainable goods and services, and grow revenues outside of ride-sharing; that new products co-branded by Bel Air and Facedrive will continue to sell well; that Facedrive can achieve its environmental goals without sacrificing profit; that Facedrive Foods will expand to other regions outside southern Ontario soon and will close its purchase of Foodora; that Facedrive will be able to fund its capital requirements in the near term and long term; and that Facedrive will be able to carry out its business plans. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include changing governmental laws and policies; the company’s ability to obtain and retain necessary licensing in each geographical area in which it operates; the success of the company’s expansion activities and whether markets justify additional expansion; the ability of the company to attract a sufficient number of drivers to meet the demands of customer riders; the ability of the company to attract drivers who have electric vehicles and hybrid cars; the ability of Facedrive to attract providers of good and services for partnerships on terms acceptable to both parties, and on profitable terms for Facedrive; that the products co-branded by Facedrive may not be as merchantable as expected; that Facedrive does not close the purchase of Foodora and even if it does, the purchase does not bring the customers, partnerships or revenues expected; the ability of the company to keep operating costs and customer charges competitive with other ride-hailing companies; and the company’s ability to continue agreements on affordable terms with existing or new tree planting enterprises in order to retain profits. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and we assume no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
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