A startup named Cargo has been placing little vending machine-style boxes in the backseats of ridesharing cars for a year. Now, the company is getting a major push from Uber thanks to a new exclusive partnership.
The company supplies free boxes to Uber drivers filled with a selection of snacks and essentials.
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“It’s essentially a two-sided marketplace inside the car and it’s a way for passengers to get what they need,” said Jeff Cripe, co-founder of Cargo.
We met up in Hollywood to talk about his company and make a sample purchase from the box.
“We have mints, we typically have water, we have all those daily essentials, breath fresheners if you’re going on a date… pain relief, hangover cures if you’ve had a rough night before… [and] of course, a snack bar, we have iPhone chargers,” said Cripe.
The best part – some of the items inside the boxes are totally free for passengers.
It’s a win-win situation. Drivers can earn extra cash by placing the box in their car, passengers can get items on the go. According to Cripe, drivers earn about $100 dollars extra a month. Top drivers can earn up to $300 a month.
The process is pretty simple – passengers start by scanning a QR code on the box with their phone. This takes them to a little website that displays what’s available inside the box, along with prices. Select what you want, then you can check out using a mobile payment system of your choice. Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo and Visa Checkout are among the mobile wallets supported. There is no signup for login necessary.
Once you make your purchase or select some free items, the driver gets a notification. They retrieve the items from the box and hand them to you when it’s safe – usually at the conclusion of the ride.
“We’ve processed over 500-thousand transactions and we’ve never literally had a single complaint from a passenger about safety,” concluded Cripe.
Signing up for Cargo is free for drivers. The company expects to make its way into 20,000 cars across the country in 2018.