Cluno, the Munich-based ‘car subscription’ service, raises €7M Series A

Cluno, a startup operating out of Munich that offers what it calls a “car subscription” service, has raised €7 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Acton Capital Partners, with participation from previous investor Atlantic Labs.

Founded in 2017 by the same team behind easyautosale, which exited to Autoscout24 in 2015, Cluno lets you subscribe to a car for a fixed and all-inclusive monthly fee as an alternative to car ownership or a more restrictive lease. It’s a similar proposition to Drover, the London startup that raised £5.5 million ‘seed’ funding last month.

“Our vision is to give people smarter access to unrestricted, personalised mobility,” says Cluno co-founder Nico Polleti. “We still see a lot of people who want to have their car in front of their home every day. But in a smarter way than today! Carsharing is not the answer for the mass market. That’s why car subscription or smart ownership solutions will completely change the way people get access to everyday mobility”.

The Cluno service works as follows: You visit the Cluno website and choose the vehicle you want to subscribe to for a minimum period of six months. You then pay a setup fee, and a fixed monthly fee dependent on the model you have chosen, which covers the vehicle, insurance, breakdown cover, tax, and maintenance. The idea is that the only cost you are left with is fuel. You are also free to upgrade or downgrade your car after six months or can pause/cancel the subscription altogether.

“Why do customers have to buy, finance or lease a car for several years?” asks Polleti rhetorically. “People’s lives and needs change and so should their cars. We take care of the whole process… Our customers subscribe and get a car “ready-to-drive” and home delivered”.

To that end, Polleti cites the startup’s main competition as “buying, financing or leasing a car,” and says that typical Cluno customers have usually considered traditional ways of accessing a car. “Then they find us and see the huge advantage of flexibility and an all-inclusive rate. I think, that’s the big difference and main reason to choose a Cluno car,” he says.

Dr. Christoph Braun, Managing Partner at Acton Capital, echoes this sentiment, noting that the notion of mobility is changing, and argues that technologies such as electric vehicles or self-driving cars will no longer be bought or leased in the traditional way.

“In just a few months, Cluno has created an attractive car subscription model that makes these new technologies easily accessible. While traditional leasing offerings are characterised by rigid contracts and lack of transparency, Cluno relies on a flexible model, digital-first customer experience with transparent all-inclusive pricing,” he says.