Sidecar joins Internet trade group

Ride-sharing company Sidecar is the newest member of the Internet Association.

The move adds another major company in the “sharing economy” to the Web trade group, which already counts Uber, Lyft and Airbnb as well as industry titans like Google and Facebook among its members.

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“Sharing economy platforms like Sidecar exemplify the Internet’s ability to foster new and innovative services that disrupt entrenched industries and improve people’s lives,” organization CEO Michael Beckerman said in a statement.

The company created an application that connects people needing a ride with drivers via their smartphone.

It was founded in 2012 but so far has had a relatively light presence in Washington.

Sidecar hired its first lobbyists, Thorn Run Partners, earlier this summer. According to a federal disclosure form, the lobbying firm will be focusing on “innovation in the transportation marketplace” and “issues related to ride-sharing.” 

“As with many innovative companies, policies don’t always keep pace with innovation and progress,” Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul said in a statement. “We are excited to join the Internet Association and work with them to advance our shared goal of championing technology innovation and challenging roadblocks that attempt to stall or stop the application of these solutions to revolutionize industries.”

Despite their rising popularity, companies like Sidecar, Uber and Lyft have run into opposition from local regulators and taxi industries, which has caused them to beef up their lobbying presence. Earlier this year, Uber hired President Obama’s former campaign manager, David Plouffe, to fight against “the Big Taxi cartel.”