Amber, a new Dutch carsharing platform, has landed €500.000 in its first funding round. The company uses an intelligent app and modified BMW i3’s to drastically reduce the number of cars needed to service a given number of people. With the Amber app, users are guaranteed on-demand access to electric mobility. Amber has also secured its first lead investor for the upcoming series A round.
Becoming a global leader
Thanks to this investment, Amber’s ambitions to grow internationally and become a global leader in mobility just got more realistic. The company launched in 2016 in Eindhoven and now partners with ABN AMRO and Achmea. And now, the energy-neutral alternative to lease cars will be able to expand to the other major cities of the Netherlands. These include Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Utrecht. Amber’s convenient service is currently only available for companies. It is also affordable and environmentally friendly, allowing companies to reduce their amounts of lease cars owned while also eliminating greenhouse gas emissions. Eventually, Amber aims to branch out to providing self-driving cars to a wider audience.
Securing a future lead investor
The majority of the investment comes from Jan Scholt, a well-known businessman from the Brabant region. He is the founder of Scholt Energy Control, a business-to-business energy provider. The company is currently active in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. Scholt is also planning to become the lead investor in Amber’s upcoming series A funding round in 2018. Scholt stated the following: “Amber is addressing a gap in the market that has the potential to become really big. I hope that I can help them not only with funding but also with my experience in building up a company.”
A convincing vision
Scholt also explained that he was already convinced by Amber’s vision during the first meeting with the young company’s CEO Steven Nelemans. Amber’s vision is to be able to provide on-demand mobility for all people everywhere, using their self-driving Amber One car, built specifically to be shared. Nelemans also commented on the seed round. Nelemans: “Our goal has always been to be a global leader in mobility. With Jan at our side, we are one step closer to this goal.”
Amber is taking its first steps into growing internationally, by expanding to multiple cities in the Netherlands. With its innovative take on the sharing economy with the Amber One car, the company might have a bright future. It remains to be seen what place it will take in this economy, though. Its platform can be easily compared with that of Snappcar, an arguably more accessible platform. In my opinion, the Amber One car will eventually distinguish itself because of its self-driving capabilities, therefore distinguishing Amber itself. The company hopes to close its series A round in 2018.