Ride-sharing is a hot space right now, with companies like Uber, ZimRide, BlablaCar, Lyft, Hailo and SideCar vying for the same market. Now it just became a even more competitive with two ride-sharing companies having decided to join forces.
The Wheelz team, along with its intellectual property, including its proprietary DriveBox technology, will all be owned by RelayRides. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"For renters, this acquisition will mean a wider, better selection of high quality vehicles, more protection options and more convenience. For owners, this acquisition will mean that they will have access to an even larger marketplace of passionate, conscientious renters and unmatched earnings in California, and owners across the country will benefit from easier access to renters thanks to the incorporation of some of Wheelz’ patented technologies into our marketplace," RelayRides CEO, Andre Haddad, wrote.
"This is a huge win for our members and for our business. Wheelz’ DriveBox technology is going to make renting out, or accessing a reserved vehicle even more convenient and frictionless."
San Francisco-based RelayRides was founded in 2008 and was launched nationwide in 2012. The company, which started in Boston and San Francisco, allows car owners to share their vehicle with friends and neighbors for a fee.
The company serves tens of thousands of members using several thousand cars in more than 1,500 cities in all 50 states. Since launching across the country, its rental reservation volume has gone up by 500%, and its active vehicle listings have grown by 530%.
RelayRides has raised $13 million, including a $10 million Series A from Shasta Ventures and entrepreneur/environmentalist Lisa Gansky, along with Google Ventures and August Capital, in August 2011.
Palo Alto, California-based Wheelz was a peer-to-peer car-sharing service dedicated to college campuses, originally only available at Stanford University.
Founded in 2011, the company raised a total of $15 million including a $2 million seed round from angel investors, including Chamath Palihapitiya, who recently started his own fund called The Social+Capital Partnership, as well as Aydin Senkut (of Felicis Ventures) and Red Swan Ventures, run by Andy Dunn, the founder of Bonobos.
In February 2012, Wheelz received $13.7 million in a Series A round of funding, led by ZipCar, and participation from Fontinalis Partners, a transportation technology strategic investment firm based in Detroit.
(Image source: http://www.wheelz.com)