Global Car Sharing Leader Launches Service in London and Announces $25 Million in New Funding
29 November, 2006 -
London Launch and New Funding Prime Zipcar for Rapid US and International Expansion
CAMBRIDGE, MA (November 29, 2006) — Zipcar — the world's largest car sharing company – today announced it is launching service in London, England, the company's first transatlantic market. With this announcement, Zipcar also announces that the company has closed $25 million round of equity funding, led by Greylock Partners. Globespan Capital Partners also participated in the round as a new investor, and joined existing lead investor, Benchmark Capital, in the new round of funding.
Fueled by the new equity investment, Zipcar will rapidly scale its business, adding new vehicles and locations in its established markets to meet increased demand for Zipcar's service while expanding to new domestic and international cities. In addition to market expansion initiatives, this new funding allows Zipcar to continue to advance key elements of the company's unique self-service business model, including its proprietary, technology platform, the driving force behind its scalability and award-winning membership experience.
As a first step, Zipcar is launching service in London as the center of its future European operations. Zipcar will immediately place 25 cars in the boroughs of Chelsea and Kensington, with plans to have 100+ vehicles within London communities by January 2007. London residents are able to join with no deposit or application fee, paying only £50 annually. This low barrier to membership coupled with a 30 day money back guarantee makes the service a low-risk financial option for most Londoners regardless of income level. All Zipcar members worldwide will have immediate access to the new London Zipcars, including 2007 Honda Civics, MINI Coopers, and BMW 3 series.
"Zipcar has proven that car sharing is a viable, high-growth opportunity in cities all across North America," said Bill Helman, partner at Greylock Partners. "We are proud to help such an innovative company to accelerate its growth as it brings the Zipcar experience to markets throughout the world."
According to Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith, London is a forward thinking city that is a great fit for Zipcar's award-winning car sharing service. "As one of the largest and most densely-populated cities in the world, London faces complex challenges of traffic congestion and limited parking availability on par with large urban markets like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto and others. In these cities, Zipcar has proven its technology, variety of vehicles and superior member experience can create a transportation alternative that replaces privately owned cars, increases the use of public transit, saves money for members, and dramatically improves urban lifestyle."
Bob Kagle, general partner at Benchmark Capital, said, "In a very short period, Zipcar has validated our original investment thesis by leading the car sharing industry and rapidly expanding this new category of transportation throughout North America. Zipcar exemplifies the type of simple, self-service experience consumers are looking for with the next generation of the web, and we believe that at scale it will have a positive impact on transportation and lifestyle in more than 50 cities worldwide."
Zipcar has recently accomplished record breaking expansion and realized aggressive membership growth. Zipcar currently operates in London, England and 13 states and provinces in North America, serving more than 80,000 individual and business members with 2,500 vehicles. With 100%+ growth during each of the past three years, the company is both the largest and fastest-growing car sharing service in the world. In addition to London, in the past 15 months Zipcar has launched, and seen rapid growth in five new markets: San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Minneapolis, and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Zipcar is a leading urban lifestyle brand that provides an alternative to car ownership to more than 80,000 consumer and business drivers worldwide. By providing urbanites with hourly and daily access to cool, affordable, and conveniently-located vehicles, Zipcar has grown to be the world's largest and fastest growing car sharing service, currently operating more than 2,500 vehicles in London and 13 North American states and provinces, including metropolitan New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Toronto and Washington, DC. With Zipcar's award-winning technology, accessing and using a Zipcar is as easy as getting cash from an ATM. In minutes or up to a year in advance, members can reserve Zipcars online or by phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Zipcar members have automated access to any Zipcar across North America and the United Kingdom using a "Zipcard" to simply unlock the door and drive away. For more information, visit www.zipcar.com.