Getaround has raised $300m in its series D round of funding led by SoftBank, inducting it into the SoftBank family of mobility companies such as Uber and Grab. The move has brought the San Francisco-based startup's total funding up to a total of $400m.
Getaround, which launched in 2009, is a peer-to-peer mobility app which allows strangers to rent cars while they are idle, hence the comparison to Airbnb. Car owners need to install the "Getaround Connect" device which allows users of unlock participating cars without the need for a key. Installation of the device costs car owners $99 with an additional $20 a month to monitor the system.
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While the service is more expensive than some of its competitors such as Turo, primarily down to the Getaround Connect's installation fees and monitoring, the company's co-founder and CEO Sam Zaid believes that the ease it affords users to rent-a-car anytime without needing to physically pick up car keys is a plus which sets the company apart.
Following the round of funding, Sam Zaid told Forbes: "Honestly, we didn't pitch it any differently than we've ever pitched it. We believe in a world where every car is a shared car. It's not where we are today, but I think it aligns very well with Masa's view of the future."