Peer-to-peer car-sharing platform Karshare’s keyless technology means all cars are instantly available via an app so there is no need to arrange a time and date to collect keys from the owner.
Community car-sharing app Karshare has announced a £3m pre-series A round for expansion to new cities across the UK.
The London-based start-up plans to launch in Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh as well as other rural communities including Strathaven in Scotland and Talybont in Wales.
In addition to existing Fullbrook Thorpe, Adjuvo Syndicate and other angel investors, Karshare reports a “significant investment” by Nigel Wray, owner of Saracens Football Rugby Club.
Sometimes dubbed the “Airbnb of cars”, Karshare claims it is the first fully on-demand, peer-to-peer car-sharing platform in Europe. It enables people to rent their car to others within their community.
Unlike other platforms, Karshare’s keyless technology means all cars are instantly available. Renters can book immediately via the app and access the vehicle straight away, with no need to arrange a time and date to collect keys from the owner. The cars are also fully insured through the service and include breakdown cover.
“Our vision for the future is one where there are far less vehicles on our roads, and the vehicles we do have are being shared to give multiple users access for the trips they need”
The opportunity to share cars is vast. According to Karshare, there are 33 million privately owned cars and 1.5 million registered vans in the UK.
On average, these vehicles sit idle 96 per cent of the time. For the many hours they are sat outside people’s homes on streets and driveways, they could be hired out to vetted drivers in the local area, put to good use and generate income for the owners.
“Our vision for the future is one where there are far less vehicles on our roads, and the vehicles we do have are being shared to give multiple users access for the trips they need. Essentially moving away from ownership toward usership,” said Andy Hibbert, founder at Karshare.
“The sustainability benefits are huge. For each car shared, up to 24 can be taken off the road. Car-sharing will play a key role in the move to net zero which will require 50 per cent less cars to be on UK roads and as we transition more to EVs these benefits will continue to grow.”
In the six months since launch, Karshare claims a 45 per cent increase in revenue growth month-on-month and a 70 per cent growth in members month-on-month. The business has established a 32-strong team and launched in Bristol, Manchester, Coventry and London.
“Car-sharing will play a key role in the move to net zero which will require 50 per cent less cars to be on UK roads and as we transition more to EVs these benefits will continue to grow”
Karshare claims it gives car owners the opportunity to increase their household income by up to £550 per month and renters the chance to hire a car more affordably, sustainably, and conveniently than is possible via traditional car rental firms.
As well as expanding to other cities, Karshare plans to further grow the team to include more community managers, marketing expertise and fleet technicians. It also plans to grow its engineering team as well as to advance and differentiate the technology.