San Francisco car rental startup scales up car-sharing business

2018-08-22 10:16

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San Francisco-based peer-to-peer car sharing startup Getaround announced Tuesday that it has completed 300-million-U.S.-dollar series D funding led by top Japanese investor SoftBank Group.

The funding, also with participation from Toyota Motor Corporation and other inside investors, will help Getaround grow and expand its peer-to-peer car rental business into new cities in North America and around the world.

"We are confident in our product, playbook, and team ... we look forward to leading the growth of next-generation carsharing," Sam Zaid, Getaround founder and CEO, said in a statement.

Getaround launched on-demand carsharing business in 2013 to let drivers rent their vehicles to strangers. It offers rent-a-car service for five dollars an hour in San Francisco.

It has been operating its car-sharing service in 66 U.S. cities including San Francisco, Chicago and Washington D.C., with more than 200,000 members across the United States.

The company had previously raised 88 million dollars in venture capital, and 45 million dollars in its previous round last November.

In collaboration with Ford Motor Co. and Toyota, Getaround teamed up with another top U.S. ride-hailing provider Uber Technologies Inc. to launch Uber Rent service in San Francisco on April 11, which allows customers to rent nearby cars through the ride-haling app.

Uber is one of SoftBank's largest investments, and the Japanese investment bank also held stakes in China's leading ride-hailing operator Didi, and most recently General Motors' autonomous driving startup Cruise, which received 2.25 billion dollars in investment from SoftBank's Vision Fund.
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