From A Disrupt Win To $13M In Funding, Getaround Tells All

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Peer-to-Peer car sharing service, Getaround, is making waves in the crowded sharing economy market, signing up over 10,000 cars in the last year. Before Getaround raised $13.9 million from VCs, such as Shervin Pishevar and Marissa Mayer, the startup was shot to Silicon Valley fame after winning TechCrunch Disrupt’s battlefield competition in 2011. Within 24 hours of winning the competition, Getaround saw an impressive 1,600 new users offering up their cars to rent the service, and we chatted with co-founder, Jessica Scorpio, to see how life on the fast-track has been since Disrupt (the transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity)

TechCrunch: Take us through some of the highlights between Disrupt and now?

JS: Disrupt was pretty amazing for us. We started Getaround initially as an idea out of singularity university, with basically the goal to positively impact a billion people within ten years. And, so, when we launched at Disrupt, we really tried to get a few things in place to have a great announcement. We have since gone from luanching in one market, San Francisco, to launching in four markets. So, we’re in San Francisco, Austin, Portland, and San Diego.

We announced recently, we raised $13.9 million from an incredible list of investors, including Shervin Pishevar from Menlo Ventures, Marissa Mayer, Ashton Kutcher, Innovation Endeavors. As part of our Portland launch, we got a $1.2 million grant, which was really great.

TC: Launching a company on stage, rather than over the wires, can be an unusual experience. What was it like for you launching Getaround on the Disrupt stage?

For us, launching Getaround was a very important thing, it’s something that we worked on for about a year and a half before actually announcing the company. We were stealth for a quite awhile, and we actually worked to solve a few major problems.

We wanted our demo to be really good. So we worked very hard to put together a pretty fun slide presentation. As well, we anticipated what types of questions we were going to get and really worked to make sure we knew how to answer things.

Launching on stage is pretty amazing. It’s different, like you said, over the wire. one of the benefits is that you can actually can get live feedback and live buzz happening about the company.

TC: I’ve heard a lot of past Disrupt founders stress out over the Q&A portion of the presentation. How did you feel about it?

We felt pretty prepared for the Q&A. We focused a lot on the presentation itself. Obviously, when you’re competing at Disrupt, you have different commitments. We made sure that the founders who were presenting weren’t also trying to be at the booth before the presentation, for example. So, we just focused on delivering a good presentation and being ready for the questions that were being asked. One of the ways we got prepared for Q&A was for a number of people to ask us questions after a trial run of the presentation.

TC: How do you think the Disrupt launch affected investor relations?

The Disrupt launch definitely helped investor relations. A lot of the judges themselves were very very interested in the company after our presentation, and after we won. It definitely helped get a lot of interest for our series A.

TC: Do you have any advice for the incoming companies that will launch at Disrupt SF 2012?

Advice would be to get as prepared as prepared as you possibly can. Focus on the presentation. I don’t know if you saw, but I wrote a blog post for you guys a couple of months ago that talked about how to win TechCrunch Disrupt.

The advice is start now (laughs). Start practicing the actual presentation now, because you’re going to go through a few revisions, probably. And, actually try and make it as fun and interactive as possible. Get into the demo really quickly. But, also just make sure you’re telling a compelling story that people can understand.

Disrupt NY pumped out crazy awesome products like the Gtar, UberConference and OpenGlass, among some other great happenstances. But when we bring it back to the Bay, things are only bound to be better than ever. We’ve got an amazing list of speakers, and some of the coolest startups I’ve ever come across. If you’re interested in buying tickets to the show, or checking out the Hackathon, just visit our events page for more deets.