Carsharing Startup Getaround Raises $140M In Series E
Additional new and existing investors include Reinvent Capital, Menlo Ventures, SoftBank, Braemar Energy Ventures and others. Founded in 2009 by Elliot Kroo, Jessica Scorpio and Sam Zaid, the company gives users the ability to rent their personal vehicles to others for set periods of time.
“With this funding, we’ll further develop Getaround’s unique connected car technology, Getaround Connect, which enables our fully contactless booking and pickup experience,” said Zaid, chief executive officer.
He added that funds will also be used to collaborate with strategic partners, expand its offerings and “strengthen our position as a worldwide mobility leader.”
Like numerous companies, Getaround had its share of problems related to the pandemic. Zaid said the firm “made some very tough choices to set the company up for profitability and long-term growth,” Zaid said.
Things are starting to turn around for the startup since it was forced to lay off 150 people earlier this year and in March said it was shopping around for a buyer.
“With this latest Series E round of funding, our new and existing investors have shown bolstered confidence” in the firm’s ability to meet its goals, he said. “Our business has recovered to double its pre-COVID baseline. We’ve now exceeded 1 billion miles driven by our over 6 million users globally.”
The company also announced several new hires: Dan Kim, chief operating officer; Laura Onopchenko, chief financial officer; Tia Gordon, vice president, people and culture; and Ruth Yankoupe, vice president, customer experience.
“They are an accomplished group who will be instrumental in supporting our next stage of growth, strengthening our company culture, and fostering diversity,” Zaid said. He added that Election Day on Nov. 3 is a paid holiday for the firm’s U.S. employees.
The growing popularity of day trips and staycations has not only helped the car share segment but is also bolstering the hotel industry. The American Hotel and Lodging Association said there has been a bounce back and it hopes to hit half of its usual 1.1 billion guest nights annually.