Summon (company)

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Summon
IndustryTransportation
Founded2012
FounderAarjav Trivedi
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U.S.
Area served
San Francisco, California, United States
ServicesVehicles for hire, Ridesharing
Websitewww.summon.com

Summon is a transportation network company. It uses a mobile application which matches customers needing transportation with a taxi driver or a personal driver who is willing to provide a ride.[1] Summon is currently available in California, in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, and portions of the East Bay.

History[edit]

The idea for Summon was born after Aarjav Trivedi, its CEO and Founder, waited for over an hour for a bus and then a cab to take him to the airport.[2] He missed an international flight because both were late.[3] Trivedi created InstantCab (since rebranded as Summon) to give people a simple, fast, reliable, and inexpensive form of transportation.[3] Previously, Trivedi founded RideCell which focused on fleet automation to making on-demand transportation fleets easier to manage and access.

During Winter 2012, Summon was selected to participate in Y Combinator.[4] Summon received venture funding in 2012 from a group of venture capital and angel investors in Silicon Valley including Khosla Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, General Catalyst, Andreessen Horowitz, Facebook Ex-COO Owen Van Natta and Delicious founder Joshua Schachter.[4] After rebranding from InstantCab to Summon, the company raised another round of funding from existing investors and new investors such as BMW Ventures.[5]

Summon’s offices are in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco.[6]

Drivers[edit]

Taxi drivers can sign up to drive for Summon. Taxi drivers can also get a credit card swiper from Summon for use with street hails or non-Summon customers.[7]

Surge pricing[edit]

Summon has indicated its opposition to a dynamic pricing model,[8] which has been a source of controversy for competitors Uber and Lyft. Instead of surge pricing, Summon uses flat fares on busy times and event days.[9] In addition, it implemented a FareBack program, which gives customers a portion of their ride cost back as credits to use on future Summon rides.[10]

Regulatory responses[edit]

On December 20, 2012, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) initiated a rulemaking proceeding to determine whether ridesharing apps like Summon fall under its jurisdiction and, if so, how to regulate such apps.[11] The CPUC issued a decision on September 23, 2013.[12]

On March 8, 2013, Summon received a cease and desist letter from San Francisco International (SFO) Airport, claiming that its community drivers were unlawfully conducting business operations on Airport property without a permit.[13] Summon responded that its personal drivers were complying with the law because they were not picking up customers at the Airport or engaging in commercial activities on Airport property.[14] Other ridesharing apps in San Francisco have received similar cease and desist letters from SFO Airport.[15]

In September 2013, the CPUC unanimously voted to make the agreement permanent, creating a new category of service called Transportation Network Companies. The decision made California the first state to officially recognize and approve TNC services.[16][17] Summon was the first TNC to receive its operating permit from CPUC on February 24, 2014.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Community Drivers". RideCell, Inc. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  2. ^ "Our Story". RideCell, Inc. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Our Story". RideCell, Inc. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Lawler, Ryan. "Y Combinator-Backed Summon Provides a Hybrid Alternative to Ride-Sharing and Taxi Apps". AOL, Inc. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  5. ^ https://techcrunch.com/2014/02/19/Summon-summon/
  6. ^ "Summon HQ". RideCell, Inc. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  7. ^ http://blog.summon.com/post/81406708339/o-yes-zero-credit-card-processing-fees-and-same
  8. ^ http://www.sfchronicle.com/technology/article/Summon-matches-Uber-Lyft-price-cuts-5408261.php
  9. ^ http://blog.summon.com/post/71706636290/delivering-when-it-counts-the-most-flat-fares-on-new
  10. ^ https://thenextweb.com/insider/2014/01/11/Summon-unveils-new-fareback-program-save-riders-30-trips-adds-3x-drivers/
  11. ^ "RideSharing Proceeding". California Public Utilities Commission. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  12. ^ http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M077/K192/77192335.PDF
  13. ^ "Letter From the San Francisco International Airport". Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  14. ^ "Letter from the San Francisco International Airport". Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  15. ^ Lawler, Ryan. "SFO Serves Cease-And-Desist Letters to Keep Ride-Sharing Companies From Operating at the Airport". AOL, Inc. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  16. ^ Yeung, Ken (19 Sep 2013). "California Becomes First State To Regulate Ridesharing Services benefiting Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and Summon". TheNextWeb. Retrieved 19 Nov 2013.
  17. ^ Healey, Jon (30 Jul 2013). "State to L.A.: Hands off Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and Summon". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 Nov 2013.
  18. ^ http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2014/03/04/summon-gets-first-california-rideshare-permit/