Lyft and Uber drivers who want to maximize their earnings have a new way to make that happen.
Firefly is now officially open for business to help ridesharers make more money selling advertising much the way taxicabs do, but with digital smart screens that feature targeted, geofenced advertising. According to Firefly, ridesharers can make up to $300 a month using their services.
The service had been tested recently in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Firefly reports its ads garnered 150 million impressions during its beta testing period, out of 650,000 hours of content shown.
Venture capital firms are taking notice of Firefly’s early success. It has just raised $21.5 million in its opening seed round, from NFX (lead), along with Decent Capital, Cross Culture Ventures, Pelion Venture Partners, Muse Capital, and SoftBank Vision Fund.
“Unlike many other startups, we started Firefly with a community-first mentality — we sought to have community baked into our product, ingrained in the DNA of our company, rather than tacked on as an afterthought” said Firefly’s co-founder and CEO, Kaan Gunay, in a statement. “To do that, we’re working closely with stakeholders from all aspects of urban communities that drive value, wages and insights. With Firefly, we’re building a smart city network that works for the city, to better the lives of all of the people that live and work within it.”
FIrefly is also contributing a minimum of 10 percent of its advertising space to community messages, public service announcements and other messages for the public good.
But it could be argued that Firefly is already doing the public some good, by helping rideshare drivers improve their income through the startup’s ad placements on their cars.
“I have been driving to make money for two years and adding the Firefly opportunity has made it easier to pay university tuition, pay for insurance, and fuel,” said Jackeline Arena of San Francisco, a statement from Firefly “I am a single mom, so any extra income helps me month to month. I really love the company and the Firefly support staff is awesome to work with, which makes the entire process easier. I love being a Firefly driver.”