Founder of ZipCar, Robin Chase’s BuzzCar buys CityzenCar to double down on French car-sharing

Jun 26, 2013
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BuzzCar announced the acquisition of car-sharing service Cityzencar, now counting 50,000+ members sharing 7,000+ cars in 2,000+ cities in France. Founded by ZipCar founder Robin Chase, BuzzCar allows individuals to rent out cars from other individuals by the hour or by the day. Currently focused on the French market, this acquisition will help slim out the competition for BuzzCar, as well as strengthen their offer to individuals (both supplier and renters).

While international may be in the future, as Robin Chase’s US-based activity  would suggest, I talked with CityzenCar co-Founder Nicolas le Douarec about the acquisition, who said that there is still plenty of growth to be had in France, before looking to cross border. Arguably, the service is relatively local, so the advantages of adding new markets from a user perspective are minimal; however, given the le Douarec will be in charge of partnerships and business developments at BuzzCar, there is much to be said about the value that a service like BuzzCar could add to car companies looking to get, say, 5000 of their cars on the streets in order to start making impressions.

I recently sat down with OuiCar founder Marion Carrette to talk about how they are working with car companies like Citroen to help them get their latest models on the streets, so that word of mouth and first impressions can be made faster.

We also recently covered an Airbnb study, which claimed that their P2P bed and breakfast service adds almost 200Million euros to the Paris economy alone. France has seen quite a high level of adoption of Sharing Economy companies, both local and foreign: Cookening & VoulezVousDiner turn your house into a restaurant, Airbnb & HouseTrip turn your house into a hotel, and now BuzzCar, OuiCar & Drivy turn your car into a car rental service.