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Fasten, a ride-hailing startup, is shutting down its operations in Boston and Austin as part of its sale to Dutch automotive company Vezet Group, according to a customer email.

Why it matters: During a brief retreat from Austin by both Uber and Lyft last year, Fasten was among the local ride-hailing services that helped fill the gap, especially during the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival (with mixed results). Ironically, Fasten will cease its operations on Monday, just days before the conference returns to Austin.

The entire customer email:

Dear riders,

With heavy hearts, we are writing to let you know that as of 12amon Monday, March 5th, we will be shutting down all operations in Austin and Boston. Fasten has agreed to be acquired by Vezet Group, one of the top ten ride-hailing companies across the globe. While they will be using our brand and our technology to grow their business in other parts of the world, they will be freezing our operations in the U.S.
For us, it’s always been about more than just getting you from point A to point B.

We created this business to bring change to the ride-hailing industry. We wanted to help drivers earn more of the fare, and we wanted to give you a better choice. We believe we’ve made real progress with the 5 million rides we’ve completed together.

As we say goodbye, we ask that you make a conscious choice when it comes to ride-hailing. We know why you chose Fasten, and our hope is that you’ll continue to think about the drivers who are doing this to make ends meet and of how rideshare companies treat their people.

Fasten’s mission and model will live on in other markets around the globe, and we’re so proud of the product that we’ve built. Thank you so much for your tremendous support over the last three years. It’s been a great ride.

With gratitude,
Kirill Evdakov, Vlad Christoff, and Roman Levitskiy,
Co-founders, Fasten

Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."