Coca-Cola Quenches Atlanta Riders’ Thirst With New Rideshare Commerce Startup Partnership


Cargo, a startup that allows rideshare drivers to earn extra money and bring a commerce element into their riders’ experience, has partnered with Coca-Cola and simultaneously launched in Atlanta, their first southeastern market.

A Cargo-equipped car in Atlanta will have access to Coca-Cola beverages to offer for purchase to riders. Cargo-enabled cars also offer snacks such as protein bars and candy, as well as free items like phone chargers.

“We launch markets with brand partners who are relevant to riders in that area,” says Cargo CEO and founder Jeffrey Cripe, who formerly was an early team member at subscription box startup Birchbox. “Coca-Cola has a long and rich history in Atlanta, and is a global leader in beverage, so Atlanta was the perfect first step for our partnership.”

“We’re very excited to enter this new distribution channel in rideshare with Cargo,” said John Carroll, Coca-Cola’s VP/GM of eCommerce, in a statement. “Cargo offers an innovative solution to helping Coca-Cola deliver refreshment to consumers in their moment of need in a space that was previously hard to reach at scale.”

“We’re looking forward to seeing the impact we have on rideshare passengers when they find our product within arm’s reach when using Uber and Lyft.”

Cripe says, so far, Atlanta “is one of the quickest growing markets we have ever launched.”

“Cargo saw a significant demand from Atlanta rideshare drivers for our service. We ask waitlisted drivers to refer other drivers in the area ahead of our launch there, and Atlanta was a top referral market,” he shares.

Those drivers can earn up to an extra $500 monthly from these in-car sales: $1 per every sale plus a 25 percent commission on each paid item. It costs drivers nothing upfront — Cargo pre-packs the items for sale each month in a display box, ships replenishments to their home, and provides a direct deposit payment.

To purchase items, the rider enters a car-specific code into Cargo’s mobile menu and hits the check-out button. 

“We view this as a first step in our partnership,” says Cripe on expansion of the Coca-Cola deal. “Beverages are Cargo’s most requested item and we are excited to begin to satisfy consumers’ thirst with Coca-Cola products in all of our markets, including the West Coast and Southwest where we are launching soon.”

Cargo is currently available in six other cities across the country and recently raised $5.5 million from investors including the venture fund arm of food brand Kellogg’s, also a customer, to continue scaling operations. They plan to reach more than 25 million passengers in 20,000 vehicles this year.

All photos via Cargo