5 years ago, Paris-based Drivy decided to tackle the rental car industry with its peer-to-peer model, providing a lower-priced, consumer-oriented service, and changing the way we think about renting cars. Since the platform was created in 2010, Drivy became Europe’s largest car rental marketplace, with 850,000 users across France, Germany and Spain.
Today, Drivy has just closed a new €31m investment round, led by Cathay Innovation and Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), with the participation of early investors Bpifrance’s Ecotechnologie Fund, Via-ID (Mobivia group) and Index Ventures. The additional funding, which brings the total amount raised to €47m, will be used for further international expansion, product innovation and to grow significantly the team across Europe.
“Before this round we raised €16M in 3 rounds, it’s a big acceleration that we’re announcing today. We have a proven that our model is strong, and that people are receptive to the product,” told Paulin Dementhon, CEO and Founder of Drivy.
Thanks to a network of 36,000 cars to rent in Europe and a full mobile experience, the service offers the freedom and flexibility of using a car, without the hassle of ownership. Drivy has even gone further by launching Drivy Open in December 2015, a technology which allows drivers to open cars with their smartphones and carry out self-service rentals. “Along with our frictionless process, Drivy Open is our most visible innovation. Today 300 cars are equipped and we expect to equip 2,000 cars by the end of the year.”
This sharing-economy type of solution was suited for a French use, “France is probably the easiest in Europe. Paris as a city is very special. It’s very dense, you have good public transportations and that’s why only 40 percent of Parisians own a car. Cities like this are a big ground for companies like Blablacar, Uber or us. Drivy is for urban and active people who don’t want to bother renting a car. The take off in Spain and Berlin was really good and now we know that the model can work elsewhere.”
So what’s next for the company? The company’s activity in France, Germany and Spain is pretty strong, experiencing a year-on-year growth of over 100%. When asked about the future his service, Dementhon explains that the aspirations of Drivy are global: “The order of the new countries that we’re targeting is not defined yet, but we’re definitely thinking about important European markets, and we’ll launch in, at least, three countries this year such as UK, Italy or Netherlands. We don’t want to be a local player and we want to launch globally in the long run.”
Bo Ilsoe, Partner at NGP added: “Drivy has what we look for in a company; a great product, a proven business model and exceptional management team that has the potential to disrupt the market it operates in. We are thrilled to support Paulin and the Drivy team and continue our commitment to investing in France”.
Peer-to-peer hire services are gaining in popularity, this segment represented 3 percent of the car renting activity last year, compared to 1 percent in 2014. “I’m glad that we are building something that matters in the FrenchTech, along with companies like BlaBlaCar we are redefining mobility, and this not only within France,” concluded Dementhon.