The On-Demand Economy

Ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft are the go-to examples of how the on-demand economy is changing our current economic landscape and way of life

When the idea for Uber was first born on a snowy Paris evening in 2008, the world as we knew it was changed forever. Originally known as Ubercab, the company now known as Uber has a valuation north of $50 billion, and has become a major technological player in connecting people, phones, and cars around the world.

What started as an on-demand revolution has morphed into something that was unanticipated. Uber-like business models rose up everywhere in the following years: Uber for pets, uber for dry-cleaning, uber for home-services, uber for x, uber for y. While the likes of Postmates and Grubhub have seen remarkable success, others have fallen by the wayside with the recent decline and bankruptcy of Homejoy and SpoonRocket, both shutting their doors over the past year.

Although these were companies with real revenue, employees, and customers, their sky-high valuations could not keep up with investors demands (Homejoy had raised approximately $62m compared to SpoonRocket’s $13m). When investors lose hope and vision for the future, their demands for positive net-cash flow can become unbearable to the point of bankruptcy. Many fledgling companies today struggle to prove and scale their business models after receiving large capital investments.

Due to today’s uncertain environment, large amounts of capital chasing ever smaller returns, and diminishing risk appetite, we will likely see more “unicorpses” than unicorns over the next few years while these companies ultimately become more mindful of their spending habits. A prime example would be Dropbox’s Austerity Panda

Meanwhile Silicon Valley has dropped in rankings to number 8 in the “best places to start a company” ladder. The current environment is starting to favor the start-ups that can control costs more effectively.

At Argent, we’ve bootstrapped most of the development, design, marketing, and management, to bring you an app that we hope can serve you not only value, but a reminder that sometimes you don’t really need a $1m seed round to get started on the project of your dreams.

Using our app you can bootstrap your own company’s finances, such as getting paid for consulting services on a weekly basis, or accepting payments for items such as lease agreements or small car loans. We charge transactional rates on these, because transacting money through apps did not suddenly become free due to Venmo. Additionally, we feel that a lot of business-oriented functionality is missing from current payment applications and we have worked hard to address them (recurring payments, keeping track of subscribers, in-person payments).

If your company or small business is interested in how to adapt to or compete within today’s on-demand and service-oriented environment let us know! We’d be happy to help any business who has questions about the directions they can potentially take. Drop us a line at

Till next time!

  • The Argent Team