Newly public startup HyreCar is looking to capitalize on the eightfold growth of the ride-hailing industry, which Goldman Sachs pegs at $285 billion by 2030.
Since its inception in 2014, HyreCar has focused on “filling a clear gap” in the ridesharing industry, Chief Executive Joe Furnari told Auto Finance News. As a peer-to-peer carsharing marketplace, HyreCar allows car owners to rent their idle vehicles to drivers for rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft.
The company raised $12.6 million in a June 27 initial public offering of 2.5 million shares. At press time, the company’s market cap was $33.1 million.
In the past two years, revenue — and losses — have been on the rise for the Los Angeles-based company. HyreCar posted $3.2 million in revenue last year, up from $515,437 in 2016, and its driver base shot up to 4,430 drivers from 1,060 in 2016. Meanwhile, the company’s operating loss quadrupled to $4.1 million, year over year.
Furnari spoke with AFN about the company’s priorities after going public, a Lyft partnership on the radar, and the way it leverages strategic partnerships with DriveItAway, HopSkipDrive, and the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association.
Auto Finance News: How has the IPO enhanced HyreCar so far?
Joe Furnari: We’ve taken those finances that we raised through the IPO and really started to execute on the plan moving forward, which is a portion going toward marketing and a portion going toward development. We put a significant budget behind us and will see how those leads fill through. Since the IPO, HyreCar generated 18,000 driver leads in July and, today, over 23,000 leads. Those leads represent individuals coming to our website and telling us they need a car. The tremendous amount of leads we are getting will translate to revenue and leads are coming in and we just need to channel those leads.
AFN: Any plans to partner with a well-established ridesharing company?
JF: We have a great relationship with Lyft we are trying to partner with them. We don’t have anything imminent, but that is a key priority for us. HopSkipDrive was a big announcement for us. It was the first official rideshare company that we partnered with, so that entity paved the way for us. Additionally, we have our strategic partnership with the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association. While we do not need to work with traditional car financing, as owners are renting out their cars through the HyreCar platform, we also just announced a partnership with DriveItAway that enables dealers and fleet owners to use the HyreCar platform to enter the mobility market. This makes it possible for more qualified cars to be accessible on our platform for drivers around the nation.
AFN: How has HyreCar gained traction?
JF: Due to the fact that Uber and Lyft have exploded in popularity over the last four to five years, we have been able to accelerate as a company and complement the ridesharing industry seamlessly. We are able supply the 40% of rideshare drivers who need to rent a qualified vehicle in order to start driving for Uber and Lyft. Over 50,000 new drivers sign up monthly and start driving within 24 to 48 hours. It allows us to provide car owners with an opportunity to create new streams of passive income and truly benefit from the mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) industry.
AFN: How do you keep your business at the forefront of the carsharing trend?
JF: We are the only platform providing carsharing strictly for ridesharing purposes. From an early stage, we were able to successfully identify a massive demand in the sharing economy and have helped fill a gap specifically for ridesharing purposes to ultimately help every party benefit. We are in a great position to help fuel the carsharing industry, which is anticipated to cross $16.5 billion by 2024.
AFN: How does HyreCar’s pricing work?
JF: Pricing depends on location, type of car, and rental length. HyreCar provides an open and real-time marketplace where owners can set their own pricing for their vehicles. Prices in each market differ, as well. From there, HyreCar adds its special insurance as a protection layer on top for both renters and owners. The average cost of a rental can range between $30 and $45 a day, $200 to $300 a week, or $800 to $1,000 a month, depending on location and type of vehicle.
AFN: What are some concerns that have come up and how have you tackled them?
JF: Every month it seems like there are new companies entering the space, but we still remain the only company to provide the specific service that we do. However, there are many questions as to how we will handle autonomous vehicles in the future. Seasonal demands and peak times will always exist, and Uber/Lyft will need more cars and drivers on the road, which means they will hold inventory on the rental companies and turn to companies like HyreCar for more supply and to keep overhead costs low. We are allowing car dealers and large fleet owners the opportunity to enter the shared mobility industry and experience mobility as a service to easily scale their business.