The brainchild of one of Zipcar’s founders Silvercar has raised a first round of funding to in its attempt to “disrupt” the dismal airport car rental experience. It’s about damn time!
With plans to launch later this year, Silvercar’s founders have made the tough decision to only offer one car. This one-sized-fits-all vehicle is the 2013 Audi A4 in (surprise, surprise) silver.
You won’t have a fleet of cars to choose from, but on the flip side, you can avoid waiting on a long line to pick it up. It’s also designed to be cheaper than your run-of-the-mill rental company like Hertz or Avis.
With SideCar pulling in $10 million today, and Getaround speeding ahead in the peer-to-peer car rental market, I must admit that my initial reaction was, “not another ride-sharing startup!” But with a focus on business travel, Austin, Texas-based Silvercar already stands out.
Here’s how it will work: You use your smartphone to scan the Silvercar to unlock it. Previously loaded preferences – such as itinerary destinations – automatically load in the multimedia dashboard. The best news of all is that it has no physical check-in — you will be able to reserve a car through the app or website.
The downside is that if you have a large family or you’re planning to drive in extreme weather conditions, you won’t be able to order the most appropriate vehicle. But it’s a short-term use (typically a return trip from the airport to your hotel), so Silvercar has less need for a plethora of options.
“Silvercar is designed as a breath of fresh air for business travelers by revamping the often frustrating car rental process to best leverage their increasingly mobile- and technology-enabled lifestyles,” said Silvercar chief executive officer Luke Schneider (pictured left) in a statement. Schneider recently left the chief technology officer job at Zipcar.
Investors in the first-round include Austin Ventures, Michael Arrington’s CrunchFund, Ron Conway’s SV Angel Fund, as well as eBay’s Chris Dixon and Path’s Dave Morin.
Silvercar will release further information about its first set of locations in the coming months.