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Ride-Hailing Company Lyft Buys U.S. Digital Advertising Startup Halo Cars

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【Summary】Ride-hailing company Lyft has bought U.S.-based startup Halo Cars, which allows drivers to make money through digital advertisements displayed on top of their vehicles. Lyft confirmed the deal but did not comment on the financing of the deal.

FutureCar Staff    Feb 21, 2020 7:00 PM PT
Ride-Hailing Company Lyft Buys U.S. Digital Advertising Startup Halo Cars
Halo Cars uses vehicle rooftops for its smart digital billboards.

Although ride-hailing companies Lyft and rival Uber Technologies Inc launched their IPO's last year, both companies are a long way from becoming profitable. Both Lyft and Uber are looking for other revenue streams, including food delivery with Uber Eats and Lyft's electric scooter sharing business. Another revenue stream might be smart advertising.

Axios reports that Lyft has bought U.S.-based startup Halo Cars, which allows drivers to make money through digital advertisements displayed on top of their vehicles. Lyft confirmed the deal but did not comment on the financing of the deal.

By installing digital billboards on its ride-sharing vehicles, Lyft may have found a unique way to boost its revenue.

Halo Cars installs smart LED screens on top of rideshare vehicles and cabs and serve hyper-targeted ads based on location, time, weather, and consumer profiles, that are designed to be more relevant to consumers.

The signs Halo Cars installs are not just stationary billboards. The Halo displays are high-definition LEDs with auto-brightness and full motion video capabilities, to ensure that the media content catches a consumers eye. 

They might even be able to show some kind of animated message, so a ride-hailing customer knows that their vehicle has arrived and is the correct one, especially in crowded cities where many ride-share vehicles are the same model. 

Using bright digital signage, Lyft might be able to make its vehicle stand out with a unique message that's displayed to the rider waiting to be picked up. For privacy or extra security, Lyft might let a rider know what to look for directly from its smartphone app. While these use scenarios are not confirmed yet, it might be a good idea.

Lyft Drivers might also be able to make some extra cash for displaying ads on their vehicles, and the idea is probably already being looked at by corporations as a way to target customers.

Halo says that drivers can earn $400 a month for displaying advertising. Halo says that there is so much interest in the technology that it is no longer taking applications from drivers who want to put a mobile billboard on their vehicles. Halo says it only partners with the top 5% of rideshare drivers. Now that Halo Cars is owned by Lyft, you might see more of the digital signs on ride-share vehicle rooftops.

Halo Cars was founded in 2018 and has operations in major U.S. markets, including New York and Chicago.

Lyft said earlier this month its active rider customer base in the fourth quarter grew to 22.9 million from 22.3 million the previous quarter. That compares with Uber's global 111 million active platform users in the same period.


resource from: Reuters

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