A cheat sheet of peer-to-peer car sharing players


Two peer-to-peer car sharing startups have launched in the Bay Area in recent months (there’s at least five here now), and there’s now four peer-to-peer car sharing companies in France. Yeah, it looks like a bubble, but the amount of drivers and car owners in these networks is actually really small. There’s room for quite a few players as these companies figure out market strategies, marketing and mobile apps.

Peer-to-peer car sharing (sometimes called distributed, neighbor-to-neighbor and car sharing 2.0) facilitates car renting between personal car owners and a network of interested renters. In contrast, for standard car sharing from ZipCar or CityCarShare, the organization owns the fleet of cars.

Probably even more companies will launch P2P car sharing services in the coming months, with new ways to target already-existing communities, and eventually the market will face consolidation. But in the meantime, here’s my cheat sheet of a dozen companies offering websites to facilitate peer-to-peer car sharing among neighbors.

Company Location, founded Investors Differentiators
Buzzcar France, launched March 2011 Zipcar’s co-founder Robin Chase, Mobivia Groupe Buzzcar is focused on France and was started by the co-founder of car sharing 1.0 leader Zipcar.
CityzenCar France, launched Jan. 2011 N/A CityzenCar is focused on France and uses automated locking by a network of approved installers, creating a network of founder/car owners.
Getaround Bay Area, San Diego, founded 2009 $3.4M, CrunchFund, Redpoint Ventures, General Catalyst + angels Getaround sells a P2P car sharing kit that car owners install themselves and which can unlock car doors. It also has focused on its iPhone app.
HiGear Bay Area, soon Los Angeles, launched Aug. 2011 $1.3M, Battery Ventures, BV Capital, 500 Startups and angels HiGear focuses on car sharing of luxury and sports cars, and it doesn’t use automated locking systems.
Livop France, Sept. 2010 N/A Livop focuses on car sharing in France and uses key exchange.
RelayRides Bay Area, Boston, founded 2009 $5M, Google Ventures, August Capital, in talks with GM RelayRides installs the car tech itself, and it recently scored a partnership with GM around Onstar.
RentMyCar Across the U.S., international, May 2001 N/A RentMyCar is the oldest site out there but basically only acts as a middleman. No insurance, no automated locking system, no community element.
Spride Share Came out of stealth in April 2010, pilot Sept. 2010, not yet commercial Spring Ventures Spride Share has an impressive advisory board, and the company was instrumental in getting insurance legislation passed in California.
Tamyca Germany, launched Nov. 2010 N/A Tamyca was founded by Konrad Erzberger. S stands for “Take My Car.”
Voiturelib France, early 2011 Founded by Paulin Dementhon Voiturelib focuses on car sharing in France.
Wheelz Stanford campus, founded early 2011, launched Sept. Angel-backed, Facebook early-exec-turned-investor Chamath Palihapitiya, Jim Freer, Sebastien de Halleux, Felicis Ventures and Red Swan Ventures. Wheelz has a plan to focus on college campuses and launched at Stanford.
WhipCar U.K., founded early 2009, launched 2010 Delta Partners WhipCar is available in the U.K. and doesn’t use automated locking systems: Drivers/owners swap keys in person.

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