Rideshare on Ethereum Raised More Than $650,000 in Ether


Screenshot from Arcade City website, while the token sale was in process.

Arcade City started out as a Facebook page that resembled a decentralized ridesharing environment where customers would “hail” a car by posting to Arcade City’s page, and drivers would then respond with their set prices. But founder Christopher David had other plans for Arcade City: a decentralized ridesharing app that will run on Ethereum, through ARC tokens.

Fast forward several months to yesterday, when there seemed to be some progress in the City: The startup has closed out its crowdfunding campaign, with 77,687.45 Ether (more than $650,000) raised — which created 9.5 million ARC tokens. According to discussions in the company’s Slack channel, the crowdsale was intended to raise enough funds for the development of the v. 2 app, which will run on Ethereum and ARC tokens.

“The funding will take us through August on a shoestring budget. Rollout will be done in increments, first the MVP than adding feature by feature to it,” Bernd Lapp, AC’s mayor, posted in Slack. “And the ARC token has similarities to gold = limited supply and if we do a good job on the product (which we intend to do) there will be a huge demand one day.”

Lapp took on the new role earlier this month, when Christopher David stepped down. According to Michael Thuy, system architect at Arcade City, said that David has launched a separate company, Arcade One.

“Arcade One is a company Christopher David is starting and where he serves as CEO,” Thuy said. “This company has nothing to do with Arcade City anymore. Last thing I heard they will offer some services on what we are building.” (Which may serve to Arcade City’s advantage, given this Fusion investigation into David’s reputation.)

“There will never be an app,” said Jack Stemmelin, who briefly worked for the company (apparently for free), in the Fusion piece. “[It’s] not a business, it’s a joke.”

Yesterday’s new round of funding will be enough to sustain the ridesharing startup and the app’s development expenses for about eight months, according to Jennifer Williams, the City’s vice-mayor. “The Dev team is a team of four, based in Antwerp, and they are full-time contributors and prepared for the next six months to remain that way,” she said over Slack. By then, the company hopes to have enough drivers signed up and ready-to-go, so that Arcade City can start profiting from its estimated 10% share on rides (less than what Uber or Lyft takes from its drivers).

David told Bank Innovation previously that the main purpose of the startup is to “free the drivers from Uber’s centralized management of pricing … using blockchain.” Back in May, he said the company already had 5,000 drivers signed up in 27 states.

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