Deals

Car-sharing service RelayRides raises $5.1M from Google Ventures

RelayRides, a crowd-sourced car-sharing service similar to Zipcar, has raised $5.1 million from August Capital and Google Ventures, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

VentureBeat reported that Google Ventures was investing an undisclosed sum into RelayRides back in December. It looks like the round is nearly complete — the company still wants to raise an additional $770,000, according to the regulatory filing. The document lists Howard Hartenbaum of August Capital and Joe Krauss of Google Ventures as investors in the round.

RelayRides lets any car owner list their vehicle on a site and rent it out in a way similar to Zipcar’s car-sharing service. Once listed, RelayRides sends a representative to attach a device to the car that lets any other RelayRides member access the car once reserved. The car owner sets the price, which is usually around 10 percent less than other car sharing services, and notes what time of the week the car will be available for rental.

The car owner gets 65 percent of the total rental fee, and RelayRides picks up 15 percent of the fee as a transaction cost. The rest of the rental fee goes toward insurance policies. Borrowers still have to pass a background check that ensures a clean driving record, even though there is an insurance policy in place.

RelayRides has been active in Boston for about nine months now, and the company was founded in November 2008. Zipcar is the site’s obvious competition — which already has wide distribution across the country and plans to go public in the near future. Angel investors accounted for $600,000 of the round, while the remainder of the funding came from Google Ventures and August Capital.

[Photo: pedrosimoes7]