Para app: what is this new app that helps economy gig drivers?

Para was created by David Pickerell to give some control back to gig economy drivers. However, most delivery companies are not happy about it. Read on for more!


by Aline Barbosa

Published on 10/13/2022

The app is a fan favorite, but the big companies are not as keen as the drivers.

Meet the app that’s helping gig economy workers. Source: Adobe Stock.

David Pickerell worked as an operations manager at Uber for two years. Now, he’s the man behind the Para. An app designed to help gig drivers learn how much they are truly earning on a day’s work. 

According to Uber, their drivers make about $30 an hour. DoorDash, one of the most used delivery services in the U.S., say its drivers make $25. However, a big portion of these drivers are not sure that’s correct when taking all their costs into account. 

Pickerell learned this fact while still employed by Uber – which he worked at from 2015 to 2017. According to him, it didn’t seem fair that gig economy workers didn’t have access to the information he had behind a desk. 

He’d argue that the information they needed was there, but the company wasn’t empowering their drivers with it. So, he decided to leave Uber and build his own app in order to do so. Entitled Para, the app had its release in 2021 and is free. The app aims to give gig drivers more information about their work so they can maximize their daily earnings. Even when the platforms that hire them withhold this kind of information.

Para had a very popular feature which allowed gig drivers who work with DoorDash to know the tip for each delivery order before accepting them. With the exception of New York where delivery apps are required to show tips upfront, DoorDash generally hides that number from drivers. 

Para also allows drivers to juggle multiple delivery apps. They can automatically decline a low-paying job. Plus, they can flag undesirable locations (like restaurants with long waits), and customers that are rude to them. 

Para versus delivery service companies

Delivery companies are unhappy with Para. Source: Adobe Stock.

Para’s increasing popularity comes at the same time as delivery services are under fire. Because they are unprofitable, investors are continually pressuring the companies to cut down costs. Meanwhile, restaurants are also fed up with the high fees charged by these companies. 

Gig economy workers, many of whom started working delivery apps during the pandemic, have expressed their frustration over the fairness of their pay for years. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission said that it would begin an investigation surrounding alleged deceptive practices employed by delivery apps around wages. 

But while Para is a go-to app for drivers, it hasn’t been welcomed by delivery companies. Shortly after the app went live, DoorDash sent Pickerell a cease-and-desist letter. The reason behind it, according to DoorDash, is that the Data traffic from Para was so exorbitant that it destabilized their platform. Plus, the company claimed it was illegal for gig drivers to use their credentials on Para. 

Pickerell offered to sit down and work around these issues, but never heard back from the company. Then, back in July, DoorDash upgraded its security and cut off Para entirely from it, making it impossible for its drivers to log into the app. 

Para developers tried to create a couple of workarounds, but every time they did so, DoorDash would release a new security update. After a couple of weeks, Para gave up. Now, gig economy workers who use Para can no longer work with DoorDash. Just last week, Uber sent Para a similar letter, but no real development came of it yet.

What are the best grocery delivery apps?

Grocery shopping is truly a time-consuming activity, and not everyone can stop for a few hours of their days to do it properly. However, there are grocery delivery apps that provide these services with low fees and nearly the same price as you’d pay for these products at the store. 

If you’d like to learn more about the best grocery delivery apps and how they work, follow the link below and we’ll show you all the details. 

grocery delivery

What are the best grocery delivery apps?

We’ve compiled a list of the top apps to help make your grocery shopping easier than ever.

About the author

Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

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