Juno is the new ride-sharing platform taking on Uber and Lyft. It’s banking on being driver friendly, ethical and socially responsible in attracting the best drivers to the platform. Currently it operates mostly in New York City with plans to launch in other cities.
It’s no secret that Uber has had rocky relations with its drivers. It’s policies and practices such as cutting prices to woo riders at the expense of drivers makes it unpopular with some of it’s drivers. Juno seeks to change that by ensuring drivers are treated right. They hope that this translates to better experiences for riders.
In addition, by keeping it’s marketing and advertising costs down and passing those savings to consumers, Juno is hoping to compete on price with Uber, which is known for slashing prices to fend off competition.
Juno was officially launched in New York City the spring of 2016. Before that it had operated in “stealth mode”, allowing select drivers to test out the app alongside those of competing platforms.
The CEO and co-founder Talmon Marco is a known serial entrepreneur with his last startup Viper acquired in a $900M deal by Japanese internet giant Rakuten. The other co-founders are Igor Magazinnik, Sani Maroli and Ofer Smocha all of whom were co-founders in Viper.
The Juno Difference
The ride-sharing market is currently dominated by Uber. It has an expansive cash war-chest and presence in over 700 cities across the world. Competing against them can seem futile at times. Juno is exploiting Uber’s weaknesses – such as how it treats its drivers, to woo the best drivers from the platform and create a niche for itself.
Whether that is a lasting competitive advantage remains to be seen.
Currently, Juno is signing up the best rated drivers from the other platforms. To qualify as a driver one needs to have a satisfaction rating of at least 4.7 out of 5 on Uber and speak good English.
Here are some advantages of driving with Juno
- The platform takes 10% of each ride’s fare unlike Uber that takes upwards of 20%
- Tipping is allowed
- Drivers can keep all the tips
- Juno plans to have 24 hour phone support for drivers
- Drivers can get paid more to pick passengers in surge areas but customers aren’t charged more.
- The company isn’t offering “pool” which Uber drivers claim increases their workload yet reduces their profits.
- Drivers can block problematic passengers.
Juno Share Equity – Own a Piece of the Company
Perhaps the clincher is that the company has reserved 50% of it’s two billion founding shares for drivers. You are not just a driver on the platform. You also stand the chance to be co-owner and grow equity in the company while still a driver.
To qualify, a driver needs to drive at least 120 hours a month, (approximately 30hrs a week) for 24 months out of 30.
Juno drivers who are full-time for 24 months out of 30 can keep their equity shares even if they’re taking rides for other companies like Uber and Lyft during the same time
Whether Juno survives the cut-throat ride-sharing space remains to be seen. The biggest challenge remains wooing riders to the platform. As much as Uber has questionable practices, it still commands a huge volume of passengers. This makes it lucrative for most drivers.
The Casual Capitalist seeks to bring to your attention different ways of profiting from the sharing economy. And this is another great platform to add to your arsenal. Sign up here to try out Juno alongside Uber or Lyft.