Firefly, a startup that allows rideshare operators to make money through digital ad, is officially launching today. It’s also announced that it has raised $21.5 million in grain funding.
The idea of sticking publicize on a taxi isn’t new, but Firefly offers drivers what it calls a” digital smart screen ,” giving advertisers to run targeted, geofenced safaruss. The companionship has obviously range more than 50 ad campaign already, during a beta testing interval in San Francisco and Los Angeles, with hundreds of cars on the road.
” Being the first at improving out the IP is going to be the main differentiator ,” said co-founder and CEO Kaan Gunay.” Over half our unit are architects, and we have been extremely focused on developing core IP to make sure it’s scalable .”
In addition, Gunay said that thanks to the combination of Firefly’s targeting capabilities with its “strict” push plans( it won’t accept ads for piece squads, tobacco and cannabis fellowships, among others ),” We’re working with a lot of advertisers who might not even have advertised outdoors before. We believe we are expanding the market .”
One of the main goals was to enable motorists for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing servicing of clear more money. In information, Firefly says the average motorist in its structure makes an additional $300 per month.
Gunay was said that if the operator gratifies a certain threshold for hours on the road, the company will pay them a flat fee to carry its pushing — but he also said the company is exploring different ways to” maximize non-respendable revenues that we share with the motorists and give the maximum benefit to the operators .”
It’s an issue on regulators’ minds as well, with New York recently approving new regulations around driver compensation.
Earlier this year, Uber partnered with a startup announced Cargo to accept moves to make additional income by selling goods like gum, snacks and phone chargers. Firefly doesn’t have an official relationship with the ride-hailing corporations, but Gunay said,” In our conversations with these large companionships … they’ve said the drivers are free to do what they just wanted to do. This is why it’s a prevail for everyone .”
Gunay also said these presentations will become the foundation for a” smart municipal data network .” In other utterances, they will collect data that Firefly plans to share with local authorities and nonprofit groups. For example, he said the company has already been sharing breath excellence data with the Coalition for Clean Air, and it’s also looking to include temperature sensors and accelerometers.
Apparently Gunay doesn’t plan to make money from this slope of the business. He told me,” We want to be able to add value to how metropolitans control … We’re not planning to monetize that .”
Getting back to the funding, $21.5 million is a huge seed round, but Gunay said the company’s success thus far was able to” justify a larger raise and a higher valuation .” The round was led by NFX with participation from Pelion Venture Partners, Decent Capital( founded by Tencent’s Jason Zeng) and Jeffrey Housenbold of SoftBank Vision Fund( yes, that SoftBank Vision Fund ).
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