Mar 12, 2020 (Financial News Media via COMTEX) -- FN Media Group Presents Oilprice.com Market Commentary
London - March 12, 2020 – If it's not green, it's not millennial–and that's a big problem for a company like Uber, or Lyft. Millennials love ride-sharing, but they don't appreciate the CO2 footprint that comes with it. Mentioned in today's commentary includes: BlackRock, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207946232/composite BLK -1.53% , Uber Technologies, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/211348248/composite UBER +6.35% , Lyft, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208999293/composite LYFT -1.48% , Tesla, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +3.62% , Beyond Meat, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/211617595/composite BYND +6.18% .
The immediate problem for Uber is this: The next-generation of ride-sharing is already here–born out of massive millennial demand. It's green through and through, and it's set to command some serious market share.
Millennials are driving a new mega-trend: impact-investing. And funds riding this wave are already boasting over $30 trillion in assets. Facedrive, the first ride-sharing company that lets you plant a tree while you drive and choose exactly what kind of footprint you want to leave behind, is leading this new trend.
"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."
This Trend Is Already Mega
The biggest disruption in the world right now–outside of the coronavirus–is that major hedge funds are giving in to the pressure and moving money into things that are environmentally and socially responsible. This is an ethics squeeze worth billions. Jeff Bezos, the richest man on the planet, just committed a whopping $10 billion to a Global Earth Fund.
Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock(BLK)–one of the world's largest hedge funds, told CEOs around the world last month that climate change has become a "defining factor in companies' long-term prospects".
That, he said, would lead to a significant reallocation of capital–and it's going to happen a lot sooner than anyone previously expected. He's far from alone.
"For the first time since WWII we sense a shift in which climate and the environment -- not growth -- will become the priority of governments and their citizens, as shortages of food, clean water and air become existential questions," Saxo Bank Chief Economist Steen Jakobsen said in his latest quarterly outlook report. Green stocks are set to eclipse the current technology monopolies, and even the world's top oil traders are going green.
Last year alone, 479 green bonds were issued globally–a 25% increase over 2018. And 2020 is going to be a "bumper" year for green, according to Linklaters.
While this revolution in investing that is changing everything may seem sudden–it's not. We can track its acceleration over the years and its path to becoming a mega-trend by 2019-2020. Facedrive caught on to the mega-trend years ago.
"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.
It's all about choice these days, and the disruption here is Facedrive's offer of choice to the customer, who can seamlessly choose whether they want an EV or a hybrid, rather than a conventional car. And even if they choose conventional, they're still making a green choice because the CO2 is being offset for them. That's a millennial must. It's also an investor must that's attracting some huge names.
The drive for lower emissions has sparked the interest of commercial global mega-banks. Scotia Bank has already pledged over $100 billion to lower carbon emissions TD bank has also pledged billions. As larger more forward-thinking firms want to be associated with the ride-sharing company that has finally understood the market.
Nor has it gone unnoticed by celebrities, including Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Facedrive has invested in the celebrity couple's WestBrook Global Inc., which gives them access not only to content distribution monetization on the side, but also to some 120 million additional social media followers.
The Green Ride of a Lifetime
The biggest negative impact associated with the explosive popularity of ride-hailing is pollution. A recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that the average (U.S.) ride-hailing trip results in 69% more pollution than whatever transportation option it displaced.
That's a huge number, that scientists estimate is actually higher in densely populated areas. In this age of green investing, this is data that millennials find hard to swallow. But now, they don't have to. Now they can plant a tree every time they take a ride. Facedrive ride-hailing offsets any 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 an equivalent monetary value to the local organizations to plant trees. They have partnered with Forest Ontario and have planted over 3,500 trees last year in their soft launch phase.