miDrive, the UK startup that offers a mobile app to help you learn to drive, has closed a £2 million Series A round, adding to the £1 million previously raised. Investors include MBM Capital Partners and Holiday Extras, while miDrive says it plans to use the money to expand its current 10-person team, and for growth here in the UK and internationally.
Available for both iOS and Android, miDrive is targeting the 750,000 or so people in the UK who learn to drive each year. The app offers a marketplace to help find a driving instructor, including the ability to specify by gender, as well as location. It also aims to ensure you get a competitive price for lessons, saving you money along the way.
In addition, the miDrive app provides tools to help with the learning process itself. This includes various learning materials for the practical and theory part of the driving test, and a GPS-powered feature that lets you track your lessons on a map so that you can review progress and what areas you need to focus on more next.
Since the company was founded in 2013, it’s managed to attract 2,400 driving instructors to its platform, who have been matched with 15,000 learners. The startup’s newly hired Head of Marketing, Eva Binda, who was previously at Square and Google in the U.S., also tells TechCrunch that more than 50,000 kilometers of practice drives have been tracked via the app and that miDrive is seeing a 50 per cent match rate — i.e. 50 per cent of learners that contact an instructor through the app actually go on to take a lesson with them.
Curiously, however, the app and accompanying platform is free for both users and driving instructors, leaving miDrive yet to find or implement a revenue model. Charging a commission per lead or driving lesson seems like the most obvious way to start bringing in cash, as well as offering payment options via the app, though perhaps it’s a case of wanting to reach enough scale and prove the app’s utility before doing so.
To that end, Binda tells me the startup is starting to see some direct competition in the UK, “but overall the competitive landscape is relatively quiet and none offer the same experience as miDrive (e.g. being able to track practice drives in real-time).” Its closest rival is recently launched Roadio. Meanwhile, another competitor is PassRight, which is only focused on the theory element of passing your driving test.