Peer-to-peer car sharing startup Car Next Door has just announced the close of its Series B raise with Caltex and Trevor Folsom's early-stage investment group, Investible, leading the round.
The tech start-up finalised the raise at $5 million, which was well oversubscribed with several well-known supporters coming on board including Shark Tank "shark" and technology entrepreneur Steve Baxter (pictured centre with founders Will Davies and Dave Trumbull) who increased his stake in the business.
Prominent venture capitalist Roger Allen is also among the investors which include Macquarie Group, Hollard Insurance Company and Russian investment firm Larix VC, which has a strong interest in the two-sided marketplace and transport.
Car Next Door CEO and co-founder Will Davies says this strong show of support for the peer-to-peer car sharing platform represents a wider understanding of the shift away from owning cars towards accessing them on demand.
In this round Car Next Door also opened up the raise to sophisticated investors through crowd-sourced equity funding platform Equitise.
"We wanted to provide the opportunity for smaller investors to get involved. We were aiming for a minimum of $500,000 and we ended with 60 per cent over that," says Davies.
"This was a test run, ultimately we want to extend this to all of our users. We'd love to see 1000 of our users investing in us as well as using the platform," he says.
Car Next Door now has 1300 cars and 60,000 borrowers. It also saw a five-time growth trajectory across all key metrics since its last capital raise closed two years ago.
"This month we hit a new record 2,000 bookings in one week. When we first started, in 2012, it took us a year to reach that number," says Davies.
"The focus of this year is on continued growth and improvement of our systems."
Already firmly established in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Car Next Door rolled out on the Gold Coast in December. There are plans to move into Canberra, Adelaide and Perth in the next six months.
CarNextDoor.com.au is an online platform that allows car owners to effectively rent their cars out to users as a way of making money on the idle capacity of their vehicles to people who need them for ad hoc journeys.
Founded by Davies and Trumbull in 2012, the company hit the headlines in 2016 when they appeared on Shark Tank and convinced legendary investor Steve Baxter to make a $300,000 capital injection for just a 4 per cent stake in the business.
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