Why we sold to GM

Yesterday news broke of General Motor’s acquisition of Sidecar assets. Why the sale? In short, we were forced to shut down operations and sell. We were unable to compete against Uber, a company that raised more capital than any other in history and is infamous for its anti-competitive behavior. The legacy of Sidecar is that we out-innovated Uber but still failed to win the market. We failed – for the most part – because Uber is willing to win at any cost and they have practically limitless capital to do it.

When it was clear we needed to sell the company, it was important to the board and me that we continue Sidecar’s spirit of innovation and land Sidecar employees in great jobs. Finding a buyer like GM fulfilled our goals. Once the term sheet was signed with GM in December and the strategy was clear, we ceased operation of our ride and delivery operations and focused on closing the deal.

With the acquisition of Sidecar assets, GM gains the team and technology to accelerate their mobility plans and grow their new mobility offering into a world-class transportation service. The key component to the transaction is a license to Sidecar patents*. Sidecar retains ownership of those patents.

What’s next for me?  I’ve chosen not to move on with the GM team, and instead take a break before starting my next thing. It feels almost unbelievable to me that four years ago ridesharing didn’t exist. I’m proud to have led the team at Sidecar. Together we profoundly changed transportation for the better, inventing the technology that enabled the entire category like instant peer-to-peer ridesharing, shared rides, back-to-back rides, shared ETA, driver directions, and so many more.

I wish every member of Sidecar all the best. GM now has one of the most innovative, fastest-moving teams in Silicon Valley working for them.

Sunil Paul

Co-founder & CEO, Sidecar

* Sidecar holds the US Patent #6356838 for “System and method for determining an efficient transportation route” and has other patents pending.