FlightCar wants to enable its users to rent out their cars at airports all around the country, and today is announcing that it has raised an additional $13.5 million to help fund that expansion. The new financing comes from GGV Capital, whose managing partner Hans Tung will be joining the company’s board.
With FlightCar, travelers leave cars at the company’s lots near various airports around the country and receive free parking for the time that they are out of town. Those cars can then be made available to visitors to that airport, who pay highly discounted daily rates for rentals compared to more traditional car rental agencies.
Cars are cleaned before and after they are rented out, and FlightCar partners with third-party car services to shuttle their customers to and from the airports from their lots. While handling the logistics of such an operation can be challenging, it’s managed to sign up more than 30,000 members since being founded and has had 10,000 cars rented on the platform.
According to co-founder and CEO Rujul Zaparde, it’s not just the typical early adopter set that have become users of the platform — in fact about a third of its members are seniors. Furthermore, the majority of its users are signing up thanks to word of mouth, based on new user surveys.
The company launched 18 months ago and has been gradually expanding to new airports over time. With its start at San Francisco International Airport, it’s also become available at Boston’s Logan Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and soon it will be opening up in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Zaparde told me that FlightCar chose GGV because the firm had worked with other logistics companies like Ehi Auto Services and GrabTaxi in China. Therefore the firm poised to bring the same kind of expertise into play as FlightCar seeks to expand to more airports.
The new financing follows $6.5 million that FlightCar had previously raised. Existing investors General Catalyst, SoftBank Capital, and First Round Capital participated in this round, while new investors Comcast Ventures and Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin also invested.