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The car rental market in Europe is getting competitive with each year. One of the French startups Virtuo has now become a strong contender in the car rental arena after the fresh capital inflow of £17.3 million (€20 million) from Iris Capital. Other participants in the series B funding round were existing investors including Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures.
Investors’ take on the funding
Stéphane Pesqué, partner at Iris Capital expressed, “Virtuo’s founders have created a business that is disrupting car rental from the ground up relying on a unique digital path for users. We love their attention to detail and their determination to perfect the customer experience, which will convince occasional and frequent drivers that Virtuo is the best solution when travelling for work and leisure in Europe. We are very proud to invest in them at this stage.”
Bernard Liautaud, managing partner at Balderton Capital stated, “Technology in cars and other areas of mobility is evolving rapidly, due to concerns over the environment and congestion. Given these shifts, renting a car as and when you need it is becoming a viable alternative to buying, particularly for younger people who have come of age as the sharing economy took off. The same way innovative tech companies are disrupting legacy players in sectors like finance, Virtuo, in which we first invested 18 months ago, is radically changing the way we hire a car.”
Virtuo – disrupting the car rental market
Founded in Paris in 2016, Virtuo has eliminated all the logjams of traditional car booking through its 24X7 digital solution. Users can create an account within few minutes validating their driving licences and with a shelfie.
The platform offers customised flexible car rental plans depending upon the users’ need. One can pick a car from a scheduled place with a smart key linked with the app.
Generated 10X revenue in the UK
The Parisian startup began its operations in London just seven months back and endured a 10 times revenue within this stipulated period. Functional in 21 locations in France and Belgium, the startup is escalating at a rate of 200% annually.
Aims to become a pan-European service provider
Post the funding, Virtuo is looking forward to commencing operations in Germany and Spain. By summer this year, the car rental platform is going to start services in other UK cities including Manchester, Edinburgh and Bristol.
Virtuo co-founder Karim Kaddoura articulated, “Now is the right time for this investment because we want to revolutionise car rental across Europe and show that with our service, there is simply no need to own a car anymore. Travel outside cities in many European countries is not well served. Here in the UK, the railways are becoming less efficient and increasingly expensive. We want to show a younger generation that cars are still a really convenient and cheap way to travel and that you don’t need to own a vehicle to be able to have on-demand and hassle-free access to it.”
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