Inside Our Investment In Sidecar

“Every successful company needs exceptional people, product and money, with the continuation of the Sidecar funding and the addition of some exceptional new investors, we are going to rock this trillion dollar market.” Rich Levandov

Often in the startup world, the most innovative company is not the one most talked about. This is especially the true when you’re not in a winner-take-all market. The trillion dollar emerging market of transportation systems is an exciting industry to be a part of, especially as investors in Sidecar. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of the round 2 investment. This round includes longtime friend, Fred Wilson, as well as Richard Branson, which contributes in no small part to our excitement for Sidecar’s future.

Sidecar truly does represent the whole investment criteria for Avalon. They’re a great team with an experienced founder, in a huge emerging market literally changing the way we use transportation.

Co-founder and CEO Sunil Paul is a brilliant man and longtime friend who has teamed up with an equally brilliant co-founder, Jahan Khanna, a world expert in mobile apps for transportation. I first met Sunil when we worked together at AOL. I also invested in Brightmail, which was the leading anti-spam company that later sold to Symantec, which Sunil also co-founded. We both have served on Zynga’s Board, although I no longer do.

Sunil coined the term “cleanweb” to describe the application of social, mobile, and Internet media to accelerate cleantech deployment and restructure sectors as diverse as hotels, buildings and automobiles. Sidecar truly is the realization of Sunil’s cleanweb vision. A transportation system that Sunil describes as, “so smart and so affordable it will be accessible to everyone, everywhere and everyday.”

Sidecar differentiates themselves with innovation. Most notably, they were the first to add the option for Shared Rides – the ability to split a fare with a second rider, and they were the first to allow you to choose your driver and your price through Marketplace. As happens in a highly competitive market, other players in the industry were quick to follow.

Not only has Sidecar delivered from day one up to now, we couldn’t be more excited about what they’ll be doing in the years to come. Their commitment to providing economic innovation to the transportation systems industry has been amazing to watch, heightened by the support of Richard Branson from the Virgin Group in this second round.

While we are still in the first inning of this multi-trillion dollar transportation market, lessons learned only add to the excitement of our innovation pipeline and product platform at Sidecar. The next 24 months will be amazing.