The King of Ride-Hailing: SoftBank Invests in Another Leading Car-rental Platform
A new member enters SoftBank’s club of car-sharing platforms: GetAround. The peer-to-peer car rental, raised $300 million in Series D round, led by Japan’s SoftBank.
A nine-year-old startup, GetAround is a platform that allows car owners to rent their cars to strangers when they’re not using it, and in return, they get cash. The listing of a car on GetAround doesn’t come for free; the car owners have to pay $99 to install its app, GetAround Connect. To continue long term, the owners pay $20 every month to cover the costs of the monitor.
Last year in April, the company had raised $45 million in Series C, which was led by Toyota Motor Corporation and a host of other investors, including China’s SAIC Motors and Braemer Energy Ventures. With pumping more capital, GetAround is planning to expand its presence in the US and other additional markets, says a press release.
One of the core motives behind expansion is innovation. The company plans to innovate its patented connected car technology GetAround Connect, which allows people to safely and securely share their cars with others to discover, rent and unlock through mobile devices.
SoftBank’s Ride-hailing Web
The Japanese investor has built a stronghold in the ride-hailing market worldwide. From Silicon Valley’s Uber to India’s Ola, SoftBank is one of the largest stake investor in all the leading ride-sharing platforms. Its other investments in ride-hailing industry include Singapore’s Grab, China’s Didi Chuxing and Brazil’s 99 (which was later acquired by Grab).
In May, SoftBank’s chief executive officer Masayoshi Son shared his plans to make a Visionary Fund to consolidate all the ride-hailing companies at one place. The company became the largest shareholder of Uber, by transferring its 15 per cent stake to Vision Fund.
"Ride-hailing would transform the whole industry power structure," Son said in a press conference on May 9. He announced that the four ride-hailing companies made the total revenue up to $65 billion, growing on average 100 per cent each year.
He added that SoftBank was now the largest shareholder in the industry, and that he expected all the companies to seek initial public offerings in the near future.
The recent investment in GetAround defines the strategy of SoftBank – making small investments in the world’s top-notch companies.