SoftBank has landed on its next target. Getaround, the peer-to-peer car rental startup that first launched at TechCrunch Disrupt NY in 2011, has raised a $300 series D round led by SoftBank with participation from Toyota Motor Corporation and others. Getaround had previously raised $88 million in venture capital, with its previous round coming at $45 million last November. The plan with the funding is to expand Getarounds product offerings and partnerships, and get into additional markets in the U.S. and internationally.
“What we really liked about [SoftBank] was they take a really long view on things,” Getaround co-founder Sam Zaid told TechCrunch. “So they were very good about thinking about the future of mobility, and we have a common kind of vision of every car becoming a shared car.”
Zaid noted that Softbank also has a lot of experience in the space. SoftBank has invested in other transportation startups like Uber, Didi and most recently, autonomous driving startup Cruise.
“SoftBank sees carsharing as an accelerating trend that will disrupt car ownership”, SoftBank Managing Partner Michael Ronen said in a statement. “We believe that Getaround is uniquely placed to capitalize on this by creating a marketplace that makes it easy for car owners, car renters, ride-hailing drivers, and others to transact seamlessly. Getaround was the first to successfully leverage connected car technology to create an on-demand carsharing network at scale, has proven its ability to effectively expand into new markets, and develop integrations with large mobility partners such as Uber and leading automakers such as Toyota.”
This is on the heels of Getaround’s partnership with Uber, as part of the ride-hailing program’s new Uber Rent platform. In April, Uber — which is also backed by SoftBank — tapped Getaround to enable people to book car rentals from within Uber’s app.
As a car owner, you can list your vehicle for on-demand rentals via Getaround. After you list it, Getaround installs its Connect hardware, which allows renters to locate and unlock your car using the Getaround mobile app. For extra peace of mind for the car owner, the Connect also features GPS tracking, tamper detection and engine lock. Getaround also has deals in place with brands like Audi and Ford to further incentivize people to share their cars. In 2016, Getaround teamed up with Toyota to enable people to purchase cars that are pre-installed with Getaround connectivity.
In 2014, Getaround had just 600 cars available for on-demand rentals in San Francisco. In the eight other cities in which Getaround operated (Portland, Ore., Washington D.C., Chicago, Ill., Evanston, Ill., Arlington, Va., Silver Spring, Md., Bethesda, Md., and Alexandria, Va.), there were just over 300 cars available for on-demand rental. Fast forward to today, and Getaround is live in 66 cities, including Boston, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Seattle and Philadelphia — all which launched in the last year.
Since Getaround’s launch in 2011, a number of competitors have entered the car rental market. General Motors’ Maven, for example, lets people rent relatively new cars by the hour, while Turo offers a more Getaround-like peer-to-peer rental platform. In April, Turo raised $12 million following a $92 million fundraising round earlier in the year.
For a nice little throwback, check out Getaround’s presentation at Disrupt below.