Juno sells to Gett, drivers get screwed

Another episode in the kabuki theater of ride hailing

There’s a sleazy undertone in the ride-hailing sector. I won’t get into the seemingly endless issues involving Uber — the sexual harassment, the bro culture, the regulatory shenanigans, the mistreatment/misclassification of drivers — but even a competitor like Juno, which founder Talmon Marco attempted to position as driver-friendly, nows seems to be reneging on promises to drivers. In particular, the much-touted stock ownership program, where drivers could earn Juno stock, has been shut down immediately on the announcement of Juno being acquired by competitor Gett.

Alison Griswold, Juno, Uber’s “driver-friendly” competitor, sold to Gett for $200 million but left little for its drivers

Juno said today that it had been acquired by Gett, another ride-hailing company in New York, in a deal priced at $200 million. Under the terms of the deal, Marco and his three co-founders, as well as the rest of Juno’s employees, will join Gett to run its New York team. The services will merge and rebrand as “Juno by Gett.” And in an email to drivers, “Juno & Gett Are Joining Forces,” Juno said its stock program had been terminated, “effective immediately.”

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Griswold and the New York Observer detail various payment agreements to drivers, buying back their stock at less than 2 cents each, which is less than a tenth of the $0.20 per share price advertised to drivers last year.

At the macroeconomic view, Juno is perhaps simply a small, failed experiment in the burgeoning ride-hailing marketplace. But for the Juno drivers who held out hope for a piece of the pie, it’s another example of being at the mercy of the whims of the owners of the ride-hailing services, who seemingly can do whatever they want and get away with it.

Written by

Founder, Work Futures. Editor, GigaOm. My obsession is the ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

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