The ride-hail advertising sector has two new market entrants, both companies founded by east coast college students, both concepts slight variations on existing players in the out-of-home (OOH), or outdoor advertising space.
Carvertise’s vehicle wraps and Halo’s rooftop digital displays also share a commitment to no commitment: their drivers need not sign lengthy contracts or maintain set numbers of rides per month. Both companies add and later remove their displays to drivers’ cars, at no cost to the driver and no damage to the vehicle. In other words, they offer two more ways for ride-hail drivers to easily side hustle their side hustles.
Mac Nagaswami and Greg Star first got the idea for their business, to wrap cars with advertisements and offer those drivers a flat payment for each campaign, in August 2012 when both were undergraduates at the University of Delaware. They thought the Red Bull car was a great idea, and started thinking about connecting brands to groups of drivers. At first called Penguin Ads, it was a true student business, starting with printing street flyers at the campus library and chasing clients without a fully developed strategy to deliver those clients’ advertising.
Both cofounders are unfiltered in discussing the fits and starts of creating a company, a bit self-deprecating and very jokey. But as relaxed as they can sound, they’ve made shrewd decisions, and could well be poised to threaten their major competition in the space, San Francisco-based Wrapify.