Over the past several years, a powerful peer to peer (P2P) economy has emerged across sectors ranging from home rentals to apparel sales, spurred on by the ubiquity of the Internet and the creation of low friction experiences for buyers and sellers. Often referred to as the “sharing economy,” these P2P companies allow consumers to make more productive use of their assets, in some cases renting them out when they are not being used or in other cases, selling them outright. Given the 300 million cars owned in the US, and the 1 billion cars owned worldwide, many of which sit idle, coupled with the expense associated with car ownership, it is natural that the sharing economy would extend to cars.
RelayRides, a peer-to-peer car rental marketplace that is transforming how consumers rent cars, has assumed a leadership position in this emerging market. Car owners can make extra cash, often covering the expenses of car ownership, while car renters benefit from broad selection (BMW 3-Series and Prius are the most popular models on the site), affordability, and convenience. RelayRides now offers cars for rent at over 200 airports and in over 1700 cities across the country. We believe serving the long tail of rental locations as well as the trend among Millennials to forego car ownership both have the potential to increase the market size for car rentals.
Today Trinity Ventures is proud to announce our investment in RelayRides’ Series B financing and delighted to be partnering with a world class management team and investor group on their quest to build a massive marketplace for car rentals. We have tracked the progress of RelayRides for the past year and have been impressed with how the team, led by CEO Andre Haddad, has systematically reduced friction in the user experiences for both vehicle owners and renters. The results have manifested through improved margins, greater liquidity in the marketplace and accelerated bookings and revenue.
Trinity has invested in a number of successful marketplace companies, such as LoopNet (acquired by CoStar) and Care.com (CRCM), and we appreciate the powerful network effects that kick in once a marketplace company reaches a critical mass of both buyers and sellers. With its market leadership position and industry leading net promoter scores for both vehicle owners and renters, RelayRides is poised to redefine the car rental experience, and we are delighted to be joining the ride! To Andre and his team, welcome to the Trinity family!