The sharing economy continues to bear fruit. CarHopper, a platform for luxury car rental, has raised a $1.5 million seed round to expand to new markets.
CarHopper started as a peer-to-peer platform for luxury car owners — think Lexus, Mercedes and BMW all the way up to Ferrari and Rolls Royce — to rent out their rides to others. But in its infancy, the company realized there was a much bigger opportunity with small, local rental agencies that don’t have a strong online presence.
These local agencies have trouble competing with nationwide rental agencies like Avis and Hertz, according to founder and CEO Bora Hamamcioglu, who says that many of them have archaic inventory systems and poor online booking systems, if any at all.
CarHopper facilitates the transactions for renters and the agencies on their luxury and ultra high-end inventory, while the agency still takes care of things like insurance, customer service and maintenance.
On the low-end, CarHopper cars can go for $600/day, and range all the way up to $1,500/day for the priciest models.
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The company currently operates in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Las Vegas, with plans to launch in New York, The Hamptons and Orlando.
Obviously, CarHopper isn’t alone in the market. Turo has been around for the past few years and picked up more than $172 million in funding, offering both peer-to-peer sharing as well as the front-end for rental agencies.
Hamamcioglu says that the big opportunity for CarHopper, competitively, is to stay focused on the luxury and high-end market and build brand loyalty with those specific consumers.