This Startup Wants to Turn Ubers into Convenience Stores

Jan 25, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A company that aims to make more out of your Uber experience has raised $5.5 million to do just that. Cargo, a New York based startup, has a mission to outfit every Uber or Lyft with an in-car vending machine.

“Cargo is essentially an in-car commerce platform,” said its CEO Jeff Cripe to Forbes. “It’s arm’s length convenience.”

Cargo equips Uber vehicles with a box that contains snacks, medicine and more. So if riders are hungry or have a headache and want to pop an Advil, they don’t have to wait until they finish their ride but can quickly purchase the item from Cargo.

Passengers simply input the box’s ID code on, select their item and then pay on their phones. Cargo offers a variety of items, but a typical box would include items like chips, candy, gum, granola bars, phone chargers and medicine.

Cargo got started last year turning taxis into convenience stores. The company says they have 2,500 equipped drivers with another 20,000 who’ve signed up for the program. Right now, taxis with Cargo installed are only available in Boston, Chicago, New York City and Minneapolis.

Drivers get paid a 25% commission on every item they sell plus $1. Cargo claims that drivers make an average of $150 a month with top earners taking up to $300 home on a monthly basis. Riders also have the option of tipping their drivers through the Cargo website, a feature that’s already available in the Uber and Lyft apps.

Cargo tracks what items are being bought and automatically ships out refills once a driver’s stock is low.

Image courtesy of Cargo.
Image courtesy of Cargo.

And if you’re not in the mood to spend more money during your ride, Cargo usually offers free samples to riders. Since riders are a pretty captive audience once they’re in the car, Cargo’s convinced companies to provide free products as way to get their name out there. Cargo drivers get commission for distributing free samples, too.

Cargo says it has an established relationship with Lyft and Uber, which have both condoned their cars being turned into hybrid stores. It’s raised a total of $7.3 million since its founding and plans on opening in one new city each month for the next six months, and being in 20,000 cars by the end of the year.

Featured image courtesy of Cargo.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.