Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Getaround, Flush With $13.9M, Will Now Pay You $1,000 Per Month to Rent Your Car Full-time

Getaround, a peer-to-peer car-sharing service, has raised $13.9 million in Series A funding led by Menlo Ventures and including Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Ashton Kutcher’s A-Grade Investments and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors.

Peer-to-peer car-sharing — a type of collaborative consumption service where car owners allow strangers to borrow their cars for pay — is one of those smart ideas that takes a good long moment to process.

And so the companies in the space — which has no clear leader — are experimenting with new business models, distribution partnerships, mobile apps and in-car technology to make themselves more accessible (for instance, RelayRides has a deal with OnStar, Wheelz is focused on college campuses). Nobody really has it figured out yet.

Getaround’s latest idea is a service launching today called Getaway, in which it manages lending of previously unused cars full-time. This would be for people who really aren’t using their cars for at least six months, for instance while they’re taking a long trip or on military duty.

For the first three months, Getaround guarantees $1,000 in payments to car owners who join the program.

In San Francisco and Chicago, Getaround will offer “instant rentals” on these Getaway cars, where renters can unlock cars with their smartphones.

Shervin Pishevar’s Porsche Cayenne rents for $15/hour on Getaround.

The program is a pretty big commitment on Getaround’s part: in addition to renting the previously unused cars, it will also clean them, handle maintenance, equip them with an in-car unlocking kit and pay for a designated parking spot with signage.

Getaround currently helps rent 10,000 user cars in San Francisco, Austin, Portland and San Diego, which are insured up to $1 million in coverage through a Berkshire Hathaway policy.

CEO Sam Zaid said he expects to use the Series A funding to expand to additional markets, to score partnerships and for product development.

Menlo Ventures partner Shervin Pishevar, who is joining Getaround’s board, is so enthusiastic about the service that he published the Getaround listings for two of his cars on his blog this morning, saying he’d already made $2,000 in one month.

Wrote Pishevar, who is also an investor in TaskRabbit and Uber, “Most cars are only used 8 percent of the time. This is incredible waste happening each and every day across the world, and Getaround solves this problem beautifully.”

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus