In an era when “Uber of X” is an increasingly common descriptor of startup business, in some cases the comparison is more apt than others. Take, for example, Shuddle – an app-based ride-sharing service that specialized in moving minors from points A to point B.
The firm’s main selling point was its extremely rigorous safety standards, with full background checking for all drivers and monitoring to make sure that once a passenger was in the car the driver stayed on route no matter what. In return the drivers would have the ability to do things that might seem somewhat far afield for the average Uber driver, like checking kids out of school and such.
Or at least that was its selling point. News of the service shutting down came suddenly this week. And it is a very quick shutdown — Shuddle’s service will be a thing of the past as of the end of the week. The service will be closing its doors and drivers will be paid out their final balances within the next few days.
The firm had raised about $12.2 million in funding, mostly recently $9.6 million in March of last year.
“On behalf of the entire team here at Shuddle, we are saddened to inform you that Shuddle will be ceasing operations and closing business as of end-of-the-day Friday, April 15th,” a message on the Shuddle site read. “We worked hard to find the financial resources that would allow us to continue to grow, but ultimately could not raise the funding required to continue operations.”
The company’s note was followed with thanks and more detailed instructions for Shuddle drivers regarding their pay and tax arrangements.
“We hope our drivers find new flexible work opportunities that you enjoy, and we take our hats off to our parent customers who work so hard everyday to help their kids get safely to school, home and fun.”
We’ll keep you posted on the future fates of other “Ubers of X.”