Juno Prepares To Take Its Own Slice Of The NYC Pie
Juno prides itself in being known as the “anti-Uber start up” But don’t let that fool you, this New York start up means business and wants its own slice of the NYC pie. Founded by Talmon Marco, the guy who founded Viber and then sold it for a whopping 900 million (Great app by the way) Juno positions itself in the market as the friendlier version of Uber and Lyft, and by friendlier I mean their drivers are super nice and the company takes less commission than the other companies I just mentioned, leaving more for their drivers. No wonder they’re so damn chirpy. Right now the app is still in beta mode in NYC and only a small portion of people have actually tried it but given its unique value prop and the people behind the project, I can only assume it will indeed become a serious player in the ride hailing space.
So how does Juno expect to wrestle away any significant market share from the most ruthless of them all, Uber? Well their strategy is simple, recruit the best and promise them more dollars as well as shares in the company. If you have a happy driver, the overall experience is likely to be greater for the end-user, thus reinforcing Juno’s mission of being the friendliest cab company in town.
So what about funding? Well as far as we know here at Startup Shed HQ, nothing is official, however it is reported that the company raised around $30 million not so long ago. In an interview with the Washington Post a few weeks back, Marco stated “We have sufficient liquidity to launch tomorrow”
At the end of the day It’s easy to be romantic about new companies that claim they will take down the kingpins that currently rule the roost, however having lived in such a fast paced city like New York for quite some time, you do tend to grow tired of the norm very quickly and with that in mind, Juno could be entering the market at just the right time.
The final piece to the Juno strategy involves the recruitment process. Marco has been very open about saying that they will indeed recruit Uber and Lyft drivers, however, only ones with a rating of 4.7 and over will qualify to drive for Juno. When I first read about Juno I’ll admit, I was skeptical, competing with Uber? It would be like me taking on Lebron in a game of one on one. With that being said, the more I read about the company the more I like them, their whole business model revolves around quality, something that Uber is struggling with at the moment. And it’s not just quality for the rider, but also for the driver. By making the driver feel like an inherent part of the company and not just another cog in the wheel it will inevitably play a huge role in the success of this company. People will undoubtedly ask “Is that tactic sustainable as they scale?” and that’s a fair question, but for now, I and I suspect many more are routing for Juno.
Photo credit: Noel Tock/Flickr