Former professor adds tech, glitz to car-for-hire business – Crain’s New York Business

Those varied experiences convinced him that he wanted to be his own boss. In 2016 he founded Gravity Technologies, a high-end car service funded with more than $10 million supplied by friends and relatives. It seems an odd choice given the prevalence of black-car services. But Cohen saw a gap in serving the corporate market.

“We’re building the future of the passenger experience,” he said.

Gravity has honed its niche for the past two years as an exclusive, membership-based business, ferrying clients to and from events for Harper’s Bazaar and Planned Parenthood. It distinguishes itself by offering a tech-rich experience that can make getting from one place to the next more productive. 

Through Gravity’s app and in-car systems, which it installs in drivers’ cars, the company offers high-speed Wi-Fi, touch screens, streaming media and point-of-sale technology, as well as a chat-based concierge service. (Prospective clients need an access code to use the app.)

“It’s not just about transportation,” Cohen said. “The time we spend commuting today is wasted. That will be transformed.”

Rather than the on-demand model that Uber uses—which Cohen said requires massive investment and, at least initially, massive financial losses—Gravity hopes to expand through a membership model and get the bulk of its clients through referrals. It charges customers based on time. Cohen says Gravity already has generated more than $1 million in revenue.

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission said Gravity has nine registered drivers in its fleet, though the company says it has roughly 100 drivers at its disposal. It also says it pays drivers above market-rate.
Gravity officially launches its membership model this fall. That’s when Cohen plans to move his two dozen office employees who work on engineering, marketing and business development into the Meatpacking District space.

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