🚌 Uber does public transit

Thursday, June 18, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

A 5-star Uber bus ride is born

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Hey Snackers,

A tuna conspiracy is shaking the food world to its (alba)core. The former Bumble Bee CEO was sentenced to 3+ years in jail "for his lead role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of canned tuna." He was also ordered to pay a fine, to the tuna $100K.

Stocks dipped at the end of yesterday's volatility. The tech-heavy Nasdaq got a little green bump — But "reopening stocks" like cruise and airlines closed in the red.

1. Uber will sell its software to transit agencies to Uber-ify public transport

Can I still get the AUX cord?... Not the type of question bus drivers like to get. Uber is selling its ride-tracking, route-mapping software to public transit agencies on a subscription basis. We're calling it UaaS: Uber as a Service. It's Uber's latest move to diversify beyond gig ride-hailing. And CA's Marin County Transit is the first guinea pig:

  • Booking: When Marin riders open the Uber app, they'll see an option for Marin's public transport van. They can book it just like a regular Uber, but with no booking fee.
  • Paying: Riders pay a $4 per mile fare, but share it with other riders going the same direction. Fares are then passed directly to Marin Transit.

Tech-ifying public transit... Uber already includes public transit info in-app in some big cities. Like: what's the fastest subway line and how much will it cost. But now it's actually getting paid by a transit agency to include it as a booking option through its app. Right now, the Marin service only includes four six-seater vans. Uber thinks it could grow way beyond this:

  • Uber plans to partner with more transit agencies after testing the waters in Marin for $80K. Imagine what Uber could charge San Francisco or Mexico City?

Uber is worried about the future of gig... Uber always insisted that it's just a tech company. Now it's selling its techy platform as its most valuable asset — not its army of gig workers. Since CA no longer classifies gig workers as contractors, gig icons like Uber may have to start giving them benefits like full-time employees. This new anti-gig product adds a new revenue stream that could offset some gig-related losses.


Summer BBQ just got plant-ier... Plant-based meat icon Beyond Meat is expanding beyond the four-pack. The corona-crisis and a national meat shortage has won the alt-meat gang some bandwagon fans: Last week, sales of meat alternatives nearly tripled compared to the year before. And Beyond wants more in on the stay-at-home, food hoarding action:

  • Meat the "Cookout Classic": That's the value pack of 10 meatless patties that Beyond just unveiled for $15.99. It's 8 patties stronger than its traditional, unhoardable 2-pack.

This is more than just Grill Season marketing... It's a pricing war with (literal) beef. The new value packs lower the price of Beyond meat per pound, narrowing the price gap with traditional (cheaper) beef patties:

  • $12/pound: That's what's a 2-pack of Beyond patties sells for at Target. AKA "Beyond Budget."
  • $5.26/pound: That's the price of real beef according to the Dep't of Agriculture.
  • $6.40/pound: That's the plant-based poundage of Beyond's new value pack — aggressively narrowing the gap with beef.
  • Beyond's goal: "Making plant based meat accessible to all." For a limited time only, of course — the value pack will only be available through summer.

Early adopters are not enough... Once your product gets its early fan base, you have to knock down barriers to go mainstream. Beyond is focused on the first one: price. It managed to turn a profit last quarter because its patties are so pricey. Now it's chasing growth by competing on price with beef and cheaper meat-substitutes like Morningstar. It may want to extend this beyond "limited time."

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Stop: Bankrupt Hertz suspends its plan to sell $500M in new shares after SEC objections — the stock was briefly halted from trading yesterday.
  • Musky: New Tesla registrations in California fell 37% in April and May.
  • Travel: Airport checkpoint staple CLEAR launches a product that links biometric data (like fingerprints) to COVID-19 health data.
  • Raise: Target will raise its minimum wage for hourly workers to $15, up from the pre-pandemic $13.
  • Moderate: The DOJ proposes a rollback of the wide legal protections online platforms enjoy — it could make companies like Facebook liable for the content users post.

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Snacks Daily Podcast

The one time we're not talking about the Dow Jones: when we're talking about Dow Inc.

The Michigan-based chemical giant thinks it's okay that its products are filthy-dirty for the environment. Why? Because its chemicals make "clean," enviro-friendly products possible.

Tune into our highly digestible pod to learn more.


Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Uber and Beyond Meat

ID: 1219882

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