RIDE ALONG: Marco at first lured Uber drivers to Juno by offering better terms, such as a lower company commission off their earnings. When Juno launched last spring , the e-hail newcomer’s marketing pitch was that it would be nicer to its drivers than Uber. It would take a smaller cut of their fares, have a 24-hour help line and even issue them shares in the company.
Juno’s approach to equity-sharing fueled its growth, but the plan blew up in its face last month, when fellow e-hail operator Gett bought the company for a reported $200 million in an all-stock transaction. Drivers were told they could cash in their stock for pennies per share, fueling accusations of betrayal and a sense that Juno was just as bad as its rivals.
Juno is not discussing the deal, but there may be a simple reason why the payouts were minuscule—and why the sale happened. And it shows just how much money it takes to compete against Uber in New York’s brutally competitive ride-hail world, where discounts for customers and incentives for drivers drain cash in a race for market share.
Juno was thought to have had $10 million on hand before raising $30 million […]