By Bahar Ferguson
Technology is constantly evolving. From the current trends to the newest breakthroughs, technology is far from stagnant. This fluid nature can lead to almost anything and has brought us some of the biggest tech companies to date.
One of the biggest current trends is based on sharing technology.
And one of the biggest companies evolving from this share-tech trend — and one that everyone knows about — is Über. If somehow you have been able to go this long in life and not learn about Über, it is a ride-sharing mobile application that allows you to share your car with others for money — essentially an on-demand taxi.
From the drivers’ side, they are able to use their car to drive others to their desired destinations for a fee. Drivers can work whenever and wherever they want and have a great way to earn money on the side.
For the riders, it is now easier than ever to get a ride to anywhere you want — no more waiting in line for a taxi or trying to convince your friends to take you somewhere. Riders can also use Über Pool, which is a carpooling option that allows the driver to pick up multiple riders and drop them off in order of destination. This is a cheaper option for the rider and also a great way to reduce the number of cars on the road.
Über took this sharing concept and has turned it into an amazingly impressive company. Über currently has 110 million users worldwide and 4 million drivers. Its most recent valuation has valued the company at over $90 billion. This simple, yet ingenious idea, has proven how helpful and profitable share-tech can be.
Über is great but can be very time-consuming and having to drive people around isn’t always the most fun. If you are one of those people that would still like to make some money off of a car you already own but would prefer less work and human interaction, Turo is the car-sharing app that’s perfect for you.
Turo is attempting to turn the car-renting process upside down. You no longer have to wait in line at the rental company waiting to see what car you got stuck with. With Turo, you can browse through hundreds of cars in the area you’re looking at and choose the exact vehicle you want.
The cars available on Turo drastically vary. Vehicles can range from a 2009 Toyota Tacoma for $24 a day in Las Vegas to a 2018 Rolls Royce Dawn for $1,198 a day in Los Angeles. With that wide range of vehicles, you are bound to find the exact vehicle you are looking for.
Turo has recently surpassed 10 million registered users and over 400,000 vehicles available for rent. While they are a ways away from the numbers Über is reporting, this vehicle-sharing platform is already valued at over $1 billion and is going to only keep on growing, just like the share-tech trend.
While Über and Turo help you share your vehicle for a profit, Airbnb helps you share your spare room or entire house for some easy money. Airbnb, just like other sharing-based companies, is actually quite simple. All you do is post your shared room, private room or entire house online along with rules, pricing and pictures. Once posted, you can accept bookings and arrange the guests’ stay.
For example, a shared room sleeping two people in Salt Lake City can fetch up to $509 a month, a private room can bring in up to $754 a month and an entire house sleeping up to six people can bring in up to $1,729.
If you are worried about renting out your house to strangers, you can have some peace of mind knowing that Airbnb covers every booking with $1 million in property damage protection and another $1 million in accident insurance. So, you can list confidently with the other 650,000-plus Airbnb hosts.
Airbnb is another sharing-based technology that has broken the billion-dollar valuation — and it did it early. It is already valued at over $38 billion. Part of what has helped Airbnb grow so fast is its strong sense of community. The company prides itself on creating a memorable experience with (or without) the local host, something a hotel concierge is unable to offer.
The last sharing-based technology discussed in this article is a new and relatively unknown sharing opportunity. It is called Pavemint. Pavemint is a service like Turo and Airbnb but helps you rent out your available parking. As a host, you can post the available parking spots you have, times and dates of availability and their cost per minute/hour. Pavemint is a great way, like every other share-tech, to make extra money.
As a customer of Pavemint, you can reserve a parking spot in advance in the area you’re looking for. For example, if you’re headed to a concert, sports event or dinner, you can have a guaranteed spot waiting for you. This means never having to circle the block, spotting brake lights and then cursing when you realize people are parking, not leaving.
Throughout the evolution of technology, share-tech may be the most symbiotic technological trend we have seen. It is designed to help both parties — the person looking for an item or service to rent and the person renting that specific item or service. It really puts both parties in a situation where they can both win. While the two parties are both winners, the real winners are the companies themselves that have created platforms to streamline this process.
Bahar Ferguson is president of Wasatch I.T., a Utah provider of outsourced I.T. services for small and medium-sized businesses.