According to various experts, collaborative consumption as a crucial socio-economic model in the sharing economy has been experiencing rapid growth globally.
As a result, on-demand car-sharing services have become increasingly prevalent in recent years. With cars idle for 96% of their lifespan, car-sharing represents the most modern version of car ownership, allowing car owners to share their cars with neighbours who need a car in a pinch.
Numerous traditional car manufacturers have also started developing and commercialising their car-sharing systems, such as Car2go by Daimler, DriveNow by BMW, and Mu by Peugeot. More and more professional car-sharing networks like Uber, Zipcar, Turo, and others are emerging.
Picks up £3M
One such company to hit the headlines recently is the London-based Karshare, as it secured a £3 million pre-series A round. In this round, Saracens Football Rugby Club owner Nigel Wray invested with existing investors — Fullbrook Thorpe, Adjuvo Syndicate, and other angel investors.
How will the funding be used?
The company will use the funding to support expansion to new cities like Birmingham, Leeds, and Edinburgh, further grow the team to include more community managers, marketing expertise, and fleet technicians.
Karshare also plans to grow its engineering team to advance and differentiate the technology to benefit its rapidly growing community.
P2P on-demand car-sharing platform
Founded in 2020, Karshare enables people to rent their cars to others within their community.
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. The platform allows car owners to increase their household income by up to £550 per month, similar to Airbnb.
As per the company’s claims, the platform has reported a 45% increase in revenue growth MoM and a 70% growth in members month-on-month.
Since its launch, the business has established a 32-strong team and launched in Bristol, Manchester, Coventry, and London.
The company aims to continue to work with long-term partner London Gatwick Airport to resume car-sharing services at the airport as travel volumes return to Pre-Covid levels.
Andy Hibbert, Founder at Karshare, said: “We’re in the perfect position to facilitate this – quickly, easily, affordably, and with great assurances for car owners and renters alike. The past 18 months have seen lives change dramatically, whether impacted financially, socially, or career-wise; a vast amount of people don’t plan to return to exactly how their lives were before. And with that comes a question around car ownership and the associated costs.”
He adds, “Our vision for the future is one where there are far fewer 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 users. 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 percent fewer cars to be on UK roads and as we transition more to EVs these benefits will continue to grow.”
Andrew Borkowski, CEO at Fullbrook Thorpe, said: “We have been supporting Andy and the Karshare team since May 2019 and share their passion about reinventing the car hire industry. It’s a sector that is ripe for innovation, sustainability initiatives, and new technology – all of which are vital aspects of the peer-to-peer model. This latest round of funding will enable Karshare to grow its team, further develop the service and expand its footprint across the UK.”