Kaan Gunay, who was born in Germany, raised in Turkey, and now living in America. Gunay’s journey started with an education, in this case an Ivy League one at Brown University. During business school at Stanford, Gunay got to thinking with his childhood friend Onur Kardesler, about the gig economy and rideshare drivers in particular. These drivers had become the backbone of the transportation industry. Uber and Lyft had both helped address the United States dearth of public transportation as well.
Kaan Gunay is co-founder and CEO of Firefly, a global startup that operates a first-of-its-kind network of “situationally aware” digital smart screens mounted to existing ride share vehicles.
Gunay has raised a total of $51.5m USD for Firefly, which is proving to be a win-win business and attracted a number of Silicon Valley’s top venture capitalists and angel investors including GV, NFX, Pelion Venture Partners, Decent Capital (Tencent founders), Jeffrey Housenbold (SOFTBANK Vision Fund), Cross Culture Ventures, Muse Capital, and StartX.
Forbes:Firefly Raises $30 Million To Expand Its Billboard Business To Tops Of New York Taxis, Ubers
Six months after emerging from stealth, Firefly is bringing its digital taxi toppers to New York City, thanks to a fresh $30 million funding round led by GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) with participation from existing investor NFX.
Techcrunch:Firefly raises $30M to bring more ads to Ubers, Lyfts and taxis
Firefly, a startup that allows ride-hail drivers to make money from advertising, has raised $30 million in Series A funding.
The company is about to launch in New York City, where it’s also acquiring the digital operations of advertising company Strong Outdoor. Co-founder and CEO Kaan Gunay said this will allow Firefly to start working with traditional taxis in a big way.
Venturebeat: Firefly raises $30 million to put electronic ads on ride-hailing cars Venturebeat:
The gig driving economy might be growing, but excepting cities with minimum wage laws for ride-hailing drivers, the pay certainly isn’t getting any better. Lyft says its drivers’ median earnings work out to $18.83 an hour nationally. A Buzzfeed survey found that Uber drivers in Denver, Detroit, and Houston earned just $13.25 an hour on average. And in a recent survey disputed by Uber, MIT researchers reported that Uber and Lyft drivers’ median pretax profit was $3.37 per hour.
San Francisco Business Times: S.F. startup takes smart advertising atop Ubers and Lyfts bi-coastal San Francisco Business Times:
San Francisco-based Firefly has found the latest frontier for targeted advertising: the roofs of Uber and Lyft vehicles.
The outdoor advertising platform, which came out of stealth in December, has netted $30 million in a round led by GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, bringing its total funding to $51.5 million, the company said Thursday.
Firefly is the first-mover in mobility-based smart displays and proprietary “situationally aware” software designed for taxis and TNCs, supporting drivers, small businesses, and nonprofits, while generating actionable data to promote smarter cities.
Gunay moved from Turkey to the United States at age 18 to attend Brown University, where he studied mechanical engineering.