Utrecht headquartered P2P car rental startup SnappCar has raised 10 million euro from a group of investors. The round is led by the French car rental service Europcar Group. Existing investors AutoBinck Group and the Danish Startup Studio Founders also participated in the round.
The new capital injection enables SnappCar to reach its ambition of getting 5 millions cars of urban roads in the Europa in 2022 and therewith less CO2 emissions and more living space.
Founded in 2011 by Victor van Tol and Pascal Ontijd SnappCar is on a steep trajectory of becoming the most important player in the P2P car sharing space with competitors like BlaBlaCar and Carpooling.com and adjacent services like Uber Pool. The company has reached its early stated ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ of having 250.000 European car owners sharing via its platform a year in advance and aims to double its growth year-over-year in the coming five years.
Just like before SnappCar believes it can best achieve this by organic and acquired growth.
“Our ambition is to grow more strongly in Europe in large urban areas. We will trailer our growth strategy on the specifics of each area,” says Van Tol to StartupJuncture. “In some instances this could translate in acquisitions while in other case we might decide open shop ourselves.” The company plans to focus on targeting seven urban areas in North Western Europe in next 18 months. Announcing the first conquests in the coming few months.
Beside expanding its foothold in Europe as quickly as possible the company is also using the money to double down on product development. To enable this it will double its development team of 45, preferably before the end of the year. The team will work on a range of new or newly tested solutions, “A new concept we are excited about is Snapp Cricles. A solution that enables you to share your car in a closed community of your liking.” Another solution SnappCar has developed with its existing investor Autobinck is by leasing a car privately and earning a part of the price tag back by sharing your car via the same platform. Implementing keyless technology is a product development project that startup is also working on.
Van Tol argues that Blabla Car, Carpooling and Uber Pool are not real competitors of SnappCar. “I can understand that the connection is made between these services and our services. But at the core, SnappCar offers a completely different service”, says Van Tol. “For instance, BlaBlaCar is about sharing the same ride with the car owner. In our case you only renting a car from an individual via our platform. Our real competitors are car rental services, but I am confident that that the market is big enough for all of us.”
“We are delighed to invest in SnappCar”, says Sheila Struyck, Managing Director of Europcar New Mobility Business Unit and Europcar Lab leader. “Our decision to invest stems form our believe that SnappCar has a great potential for growth. SnappCar enables us in addition to expand our mobility offering to our existing customers and get access to a new type of customer. “
SnappCar claims to be third car rental services marketplace in the world, just after Drivy and Turo. But if it depends on Van Tol, it won’t be long before SnappCar claims the first position in Europe and second in the world. Van Tol: “If you look at the number of cars and members on the platform then we are just slightly behind Drivy.”
Photo Credit: Tyler B.