Peer-to-peer car sharing service — and former TechCrunch Disrupt winner — Getaround just raised $13.9 million in new funding to expand into new markets and improve its product. It’s also rolling out a new product called Getaway that will let users who never use their cars to rent them out for months at a time, with Getaround managing rentals and handling all maintenance.
Getaround’s $13.9 million Series A round was led by Menlo Ventures, with managing director Shervin Pishevar joining the company’s board. Other investors include new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, A-Grade Investments, and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, as well as Collaborative Fund, SOSventures’ Sean O’Sullivan, Correlation Ventures, HotelTonight CEO Sam Shank, Yammer CEO David Sacks, Saba Software CEO Bobby Yazdani, Hoteles.com founder Matias de Tezanos, Clarity.fm founder Dan Martell, and .CO CEO Juan Diego Calle.
Like Airbnb for cars, its whole premise is about letting users share the assets they have but go barely used. Getaround founder and CEO Sam Zaid says that about 95 percent of cars go unused 22 hours a day, and the startup’s goal is to make them available to users who need a car but don’t have one. Since launching its car lending service in early 2011, Getaround has signed up more than 10,000 users and is now available in four cities throughout the U.S.: San Francisco, Austin, San Diego, and Portland.
Pishevar is an avid investor in collaborative consumption, sharing economy-type startups, so joining the Getaround board makes total sense. Previous investments include companies like TaskRabbit, Uber, Exec, and Cherry. When asked what drew him to Getaround in particular, he said he was blown away by the team and by the vision. They’ve basically taken an illiquid marketplace that was ripe for disruption — car rentals — and made it liquid by enabling virtually anyone to participate.
Now the company is taking that vision a step further with Getaway, which is designed to allow those who already rent their cars to make them available through Getaround full-time, with the startup manage rentals for them. Launching in beta in San Francisco and Chicago, Getaway will give Getaround a massive new fleet of cars while making them even easier to share and rent.
Getaway is for people who are going on long trips, or who really don’t ever use their cars: According to Zaid, cars must be available for a minimum of six months. The flip side is that Getaway car owners are guaranteed to make at least $1,000 each for the first three months, with the potential to make more. Cars will be chosen based on their likelihood of getting rented, taking into account the type of car and location. It’ll make those cars available in secure lots, 24/7.
All Getaway cars are installed with a Getaround Carkit, which enables another new feature, called Instant Rental, which will make renting one of its cars easier. The Carkit has GPS technology to track usage and provide security protection for cars. It will also allow Getaround renters to open cars through a mobile app. Pishevar has already listed two of his cars on Getaway, including his Prius and Porsche Cayenne, and has made $2,000 off rentals already. He plans to put his Fisker Karma on as well, making it the first to be listed.
Getaround’s new funding follows a $3.4 seed round that it raised last September. Investors in that round included Netflix founder Marc Randolph, Powerset founder Barney Pell, WordPress’ Matt Mullenweg, Redpoint Ventures, General Catalyst, Crunchfund, and others. The company now has about 40 employees, and recently moved into a kicking new office in SOMA, San Francisco.