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Gridwise helps Uber, Lyft drivers maximize pay across apps, CEO says



Uber car logo
Gridwise is an app that
helps drivers with ride-hailing services to maximize their

Spencer Platt/Getty

  • Gridwise, an app that helps ride-hail drivers maximize their
    earnings across apps, is expanding to New York City, Boston and
  • In an interview, CEO Ryan Green explained how he empowers
    drivers to make the best financial decisions with the data from
    half a million trips to back him up. 
  • He doesn’t see himself as an Uber or
    competitor, but for firms that rely on data, any loss of control
    could be bad news in a cutthroat industry. 

An overwhelming majority of on-demand drivers work for both Uber and Lyft, often toggling
between the two competing ride-hailing companies dozens of times
in the same shift.

For many, it’s a crap shoot of hoping the other option may have
more rides available or with better prices. That’s where Gridwise comes

The app —  which on Tuesday announced its launch in New York
City, the US’ most lucrative ride-hailing market (as well as in
Boston and Philadelphia) — has 20 million miles worth of trip
data from half a million fares to help drivers compare demand and
earnings across multiple companies. So far, it claims to have
helped drivers increase their earnings by an average of 39%.

Ryan Green CEO GridwiseGridwise

“Drivers are leveraging a lot of different sources to plan ahead
and understand when they should be out on the road, when it’s
going to be the best time for them to drive, looking at events,
the weather, and a lot of different factors that actually impact
people’s earning,” Gridwise CEO Ryan Green, a former driver
himself, told Business Insider in an interview.

“All of this information is fragmented across sources and some of
it’s even inaccessible.”

Tuesday’s announcement of expansion into New York City, Boston,
and Philadelphia precedes plans to launch in every major US city
over the course of 2019. 

Read more:

Uber’s new rates are designed to make driver payout more
consistent, but some say it has decreased their earnings

Gridwise, which has raised about $750,000 worth of venture
funding after
graduating from the TechStars accelerator
in 2017, can also
help drivers decide where to wait for new ride requests. If a
fare has taken them out of a dense city center to the suburbs,
for example, the app can help them decide whether it’s worth
circling residential streets or heading back downtown.

Gridwise appGridwise

All of this crowdsourced data powers machine-learning models on
Gridwise’s back end, and it helps the company serve
up highly targeted advertising to drivers. They may see ads for
insurance services or other aftermarket car accessories, for

“The beauty of our technology is that you don’t rely on
integrating with any of the service providers,” Green said.
“We’ve embedded ourselves into this workflow of a driver, so when
they start driving for a shit they’ll turn on Gridwise and then
they’ll turn on the other services they drive for.”

But all this data could also take away some level of control from
the companies, who also use every parameter of driver data to
maximize revenue and rides. And while Uber, which is known to
monitor how smooth rides are, may not tell a driver where to go
between fares, other companies like Via aim to have drivers
following a set route at all times to maximize efficiency.

After all, each competitor only has access to its own data, and
no one else’s.

This could be especially helpful when payout rates change, like
the ones that Uber has been rolling out for select cities
recently. Many drivers have told Business Insider they aren’t
pleased with the new value placed on time, as opposed to being
paid purely by distance — even if Uber says it is to help their pay remain consistent.

Data from Gridwise could theoretically detect which trips will
pay more after a change, before a single driver can piece
together anecdotal evidence.

For now, at least, Green isn’t scared of angering the giants in
the room.

“I see us as complementary, if anything,” he said.

“Increasing the welfare of rideshare drivers is beneficial for
Uber and Lyft. One of their biggest challenges is the churn of
these drivers.”

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