Peer-to-Peer Carshare Launches With Focus on Luxury | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

Peer-to-Peer Carshare Launches With Focus on Luxury

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Ryde Inc., a new peer-to-peer carsharing startup, launched its service last week with an emphasis on luxury vehicles, to distinguish itself among a growing mobility marketplace, Founder and Chief Executive Thanura Yapa told Auto Finance News.

Luxury car owners can register their vehicles into Ryde’s fleet for others to pick up and rent. In the next six months, the company plans to add an on-demand driver platform that will allow renters to summon a driver to return the car to its owner.

Additionally, the startup will create fully automated parking lots within a year that will allow a renter to access a car without having to meet with the owner first; instead, a digital concierge operated by a live person would approve a customer to take a car off the lot after receiving and confirming that person’s license.

“The future would be car rental whenever you want,” Yapa said. The company, founded in July 2016, operates in Los Angeles and plans to expand throughout California in 2018, then enter Nevada and Washington.

Carsharing has increasingly become a trend in mobility. Startup Turo has garnered $172.4 million in funding and attention from Daimler AG, while Getaround has secured $103 million in funding and interest from Toyota Motor Corp. Ryde is backed by an undisclosed amount of seed funding, with plans to begin a Series A round at the end of February, Yapa said.

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