French startup Drivy raised $8.6 million (€8 million) from Bpifrance, Via-ID as well as existing investors Index Ventures and Alven Capital. The company is also acquiring its smaller competitor Buzzcar for an undisclosed amount.
As a reminder, Drivy lets you rent a car from anyone, usually for less than what it would cost you in a brick-and-mortar car rental agency. In addition to spending less money, you will receive the same insurance coverage that you would expect when you rent a car.
If you rarely use your car, you can also earn a bit of money by putting it on the marketplace. Drivy is available in France and Germany for now, but the company plans to expand to more European countries. Spain and another country should come pretty soon.
After merging with Buzzcar, Drivy now has 500,000 registered users and 26,000 cars available on the platform. Over the past 12 months, Drivy managed 300,000 days of car rentals. Buzzcar had 100,000 users and 7,000 cars before the acquisition.
Today’s investment will be a great asset when it comes to opening new markets and recruiting car owners. Part of this funding round will also help improve the company’s apps and website.
“We don’t want to compete with traditional car rental services; we want to replace owning a car with a much more practical service,” co-founder and CEO Paulin Dementhon told me. “We think we can get 3 million members and 300,000 cars in three years’ time. This market represents €500 billion just for Europe. In order to become a leader on this consumer market, we undeniably need a high financial capacity.”
Last year, Drivy raised €6 million. At the time, the company was already talking about international expansion plans. In November 2014, it opened its first international market with Germany — 2015 should be a much more important year when it comes to international expansion.