Car-sharing startup Getaround raises $140 million as business recovers from pandemic low

In this news, we discuss the Car-sharing startup Getaround raises $140 million as business recovers from pandemic low.

(Reuters) – Car-sharing company Getaround Inc said on Wednesday it had raised $ 140 million in additional venture capital funds at a time when its business is experiencing growing demand and is recovering from an early collapse of the coronavirus pandemic.

The San Francisco-based company, backed by Japanese SoftBank Group Corp 9984.T, has raised a total of nearly $ 600 million since its inception more than a decade ago and, in previous cycles, was valued at over $ 1.5 billion.

The company allows private vehicle owners to rent their cars through the Getaround platform on an hourly or daily basis and operates in over 100 US cities and over 170 sites Europeans after the company acquired a local competitor in 2019.

Getaround’s business suffered during the initial outbreak of the novel coronavirus in March and April, when demand fell by 75% and the company sought financial support from a US pandemic assistance program. Media at the time also reported that Getaround was actively looking for a buyer.

Sam Zaid, CEO of Getaround, declined in an interview to comment on what he called speculation, but said the funding would take Getaround to the healthiest position it has ever been in.

“This round of funding is really helping us reach our goal of profitability,” Zaid said, adding that the money would be used to develop existing markets. He declined to provide a break-even timeline, but said more recently people’s desire to escape their homes for travel has resulted in incomes more than doubling from the pre-pandemic period. .

Getaround was also looking to accelerate the use of electric vehicles on its platform, especially in Europe, where cities have been more aggressive in phasing out combustion engines, Zaid said.

When asked if Getaround is considering a public listing through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), Zaid said the company is still interested in new investment opportunities, but did not give details. .

Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by Aurora Ellis

Original © Thomson Reuters Corporation

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