Mar 26, 2020 (Financial News Media via COMTEX) -- FN Media Group Presents Oilprice.com Market Commentary
London - March 26, 2020 – We've come a long way in a short time since ride-sharing emerged as a mainstream offering. Now, there's even an app that lets consumers participate in one of the biggest trends of the decade without leaving an environmental footprint. It's the app that does what Uber and Lyft don't, or can't afford to. Mentioned in today's commentary includes: General Motors Company /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM -3.99% , Ford Motor Company /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F -2.99% , Uber Technologies, Inc /zigman2/quotes/211348248/composite UBER -2.09% , Lyft, Inc /zigman2/quotes/208999293/composite LYFT -5.99% , BlackRock, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207946232/composite BLK +0.08% .
Downloading it and hitching a ride with it means planting trees along the way. It also means, for the first time in our short ride-sharing history, having the option to choose to hail an EV or a hybrid to cut down on CO2. The app is from Facedrive, and it's not just another ride-sharing service–it's the next-generation model, and it's working to help the environment.
What Riders Want
What the younger generation of riders want is exactly what the environment wants: An environmentally friendly solution to the mega-trend of sharing–and in this case, sharing rides. In other words, they want the cliche of "sharing is caring" to mean something. Millennial investors are nearly twice as likely to invest in companies or funds that target specific social or environmental outcomes.
"It's not just that millennials, and younger generations in general, are increasingly opting out of the expenses and hassles of owning and parking a car," Facedrive CEO Sayan Navaratnam told Oilprice.com in a recent interview. "It's phenomenally bigger than that: Millennials demand more conveniences, and they demand that they be green. We are giving them that before anyone else does."
Because it offsets any possible CO2 emissions, and for the very first time in ride-sharing history, gives customers the choice to be even more environmentally conscious.
This is innovative, state-of-the-art, technology. FD's in-app algorithm calculates estimated CO2 emissions for each car journey and allocates a monetary value to Forest Ontario. Toronto Parks and Tree Foundation. That makes ride-sharing less polluting.
Facedrive allows its riders to choose between EVs, hybrids and traditional cars. It's a choice no one's ever given consumers, and it means that it pleases everyone. For all those riders who are fine with the conventional, Facedrive is by no means sidelining them. They're just partially offsetting the related emissions.
This resonates hugely with celebrities and the younger generations. It also resonates hugely with riders of any stripe because they won't be paying any premiums for offsetting, nor will drivers lose any of their fare to pay for the green initiative. It's a win-win for all, and the City of Toronto will also reap the benefits, which means that officialdom is solidly on board.
What the Market Demands
There is an ethics squeeze going on right now and it's pressuring major hedge funds to move money into things that are environmentally and socially responsible. They're doing it very willingly, too, because they have seen which way the profit winds are blowing.
Look no further than Jeff Bezos, the richest man on the planet, who just committed a whopping $10 billion to a Global Earth Fund. Or, Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock (BLK)–one of the world's largest hedge funds–who now describes climate change as a "defining factor in companies' long-term prospects".
A major capital shift is coming, maybe sooner than we anticipated. Green stocks could be set to eclipse the current technology monopolies, and even the world's top oil traders are going green.
Millennial investors are nearly twice as likely to invest in companies or funds that target specific social or environmental outcomes. That's why even auto giants like GM and F are getting involved. General Motors /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM -3.99% , for its part, has created its own brand of electric bikes, called Ariv. The bikes were just launched this year, but have already captured the attention of the European market. While they err on the side of pricey, coming in at $3,800 per unit, they do boast a high top speed and can travel a modest distance on a single charge.
Ford /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F -2.99% is taking a different approach. It's swooped right into the scooter market, buying Spin for a clean $100 million. Initially deployed in San Francisco back in 2017, Spin is widely considered to be a part of the Big Three of the scooter world, along with Lime and Bird. While Ford's buyout of Spin made headlines, it's certainly not the first urban transportation alternative Ford's sunk its teeth into. In recent years, Ford also bought commuter shuttle service Chariot, Autonomic and TransLoc, aiming to ensure that it does not miss the boat as this new movement accelerates.
"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 said.
One problem for Uber (UBER) was timing: Bears have been circling the wagons for a while, warning the Uber's ration is unsustainable. But bulls have been quick to point out how other revolutionary tech companies like Amazon and Facebook posted losses after their IPOs, before going on to become fabulously profitable.
Lyft (LYFT) is another innovator struggling with timing. Right now, Lyft is valued at many more times its sales, and it's still losing money--like Uber. But it does have some cash on hand, and it is investing in micro-mobility, too, through bike-sharing startups.
And Facedrive's goal to build a sustainable multi-billion-dollar global organization in the Transportation as a Service (TaaS) industry, isn't just playing lip service to Millennial demands. It's "single purpose" is to become the #1 Eco-Friendly, Socially Responsible TaaS platform in any market it enters.
The App That Plans To Take On Uber
Facedrive has already planted 3,500 trees and expects to have plant ~68,000 trees in 2020, while offsetting around 2.1 million kg of CO2.