ZipCar buys stake in peer-to-peer car sharing service Wheelz

Zipcar, the world's most popular car sharing network, has announced it will be investing in the startup car sharing company Wheelz.

Zipcar will become a lead investor in Wheelz, a new peer-to-peer car sharing service based in Palo Alto, CA. Zipcar will be investing $13.7 million in Series A round of funding into Wheelz.

For those that don't know Zipcar is an extremely popular car-sharing service that allows people to rent cars by the hour, instead of the whole day. It helps those in urban areas avoid the high cost of owning a car, while enjoying the benefits or being able to use one when needed. Zipcar has roughly 673,000 members and 8,900 vehicles throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The service is extremely popular around college campuses.

Wheelz is the first peer-to-peer (P2P) car sharing company. The main focus of Wheelz is on college campus communities. The service allows people to rent out cars like Zipcar, but an individual vehicle owner rents out their personal vehicle. Unlike Zipcar which actually owns and operates the vehicle themselves. This model empowers car owners to earn money from their car when they are not using it while providing convenient and affordable access for car borrowers.

"Based on our analysis and primary research, we believe P2P could expand the total addressable market for car sharing," said Zipcar Chairman and CEO Scott Griffith. "We chose to make this investment because we believe that Wheelz has the right leadership, technology and business model to succeed in the emerging P2P space."


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