Cargo, the startup that helps rideshare drivers sell snacks and such inside their cars, announced today that it has raised a $22.5 million Series A round of funding led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund (h/t VentureBeat).
Founded in 2016, Cargo provides drivers with plastic containers that sit on top of a car’s center console and are filled with items like gum, lip balm, or even earbuds. Using the Cargo app, consumers can buy items during their ride, and the driver earns a commission on each purchase. Cargo says that it works with a total of 12,000 drivers who earn an added $130 a month on average.
Cargo and Uber entered into an exclusive global partnership earlier this year in a move to put more vending boxes in Uber’s fleet. That gave Cargo a nice shot in the arm, and this new money will be used to fuel even more expansion both domestically and internationally.
In addition to a nice value add for Uber drivers, more widespread adoption of Cargo gives Uber increased insight into the purchasing habits of its riders. Which snacks are most popular and where? When do people buy, how frequently, etc. On the surface, this data helps Cargo more precisely stock items by region.
But it also helps Uber, which is in the business of transporting things, whether it be people, or, in the case of Uber Eats, food. If you’re feeling peckish on the way home from work or a night out, maybe in addition to that Clif bar you just bought in the car, you can be prompted to order a Big Mac (through Uber Eat, obvs) to be delivered to the same place you’re being dropped off.
That’s probably a ways off, but it’s still an idea to snack on.