With the click of a button, you can get almost anything you need done for you. Need your car parked? Craving an ice cold beer? There’s an app for that.
It may seem like the emergence of on-demand services is a new trend, but can you believe that Uber has been around since 2009 (just two years after the iPhone was introduced)? The Uber business model sparked a wave of “Uber for X” apps over the past five years that hoped to capitalize on this business model.
If you’re unfamiliar, the Uber for X model utilizes workers who are contractors, which means they have no benefits and do not have to be reimbursed for their expenses. As such, the app’s role is to facilitate the connection between the contractor and the customer, significantly reducing overhead.
However, in order to offer on-demand services at a competitive price, companies must operate on a high volume of transactions with low margins. Some of the companies above have strayed from the contractor model and hire their couriers as employees, but the contractor model is still the most prevalent.
These 49 companies show just how far-reaching the Uber for X model is.
Uber was valued at $28 billion this year, but many think that Uber is a unicorn — that disrupting another industry with the on-demand model is unlikely. Nevertheless, companies are still trying, and investors are still investing. We found that about half of the companies on our list, from beauty to home repair to healthcare, have been funded in the past year. Click the button below to view each company’s most recent funding date.
Many of these companies are no longer following the Uber for X model as closely as when they started. They are adapting and evolving to cater to new markets. Companies have developed hybrid models with on-demand services complimented by more evergreen offerings. They’ve also rolled out monthly plans, subscription plans, and helpful applications that complement their services.
Some argue that the on-demand phenomenon is fading, and that other industries aren’t as vulnerable as the transportation industry was when Uber was founded, making new markets harder to disrupt. However, others believe the on-demand phenomenon is similar to the dot-com boom and say that it’s still in a period of experimentation. Whichever the case, it doesn’t look like on-demand companies are going away anytime soon.