Silvercar, a next-generation car rental company that aims to provide better service than the existing conglomerates, has raised $28 million for further expansion.
Austin, Texas-based Silvercar uses valet-style greeters to meet you at the airport with your car. You no longer have to take a shuttle and wait in a long line at a car rental desk. You simply drive the greeter to a nearby location, and then you’re on your way. The company offers just one kind of car: a silver Audi A4s, loaded with infotainment and performance features.
This third round of funding was led by car manufacturer Audi. Other investors from a previous round — Austin Ventures and Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin — also participated. Silvercar is demoing its service this week at the 2016 International CES, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas. As it happens, Las Vegas is the 12th market that Silvercar has moved into.
Every Silvercar has premium features such as a sunroof, leather seating surfaces, in-car Wi-Fi, quattro all-wheel drive, Sirius XM radio, and voice-controlled navigation. Audi and Silvercar are developing the Audi Shared Fleet, a turnkey solution for businesses that provide accessible transportation to employees on corporate campuses.
“Audi’s confidence in Silvercar allows us to extend our reach even further, and bring forth the concept of shared mobility into many more markets, applications and product offerings,” said Silvercar CEO, Luke Schneider, in a statement. “It is our goal to accelerate the expansion of our successful airport business in order to integrate these new mobility products into the market as soon as possible.”
Audi’s North America president, Scott Keogh, will join Silvercar’s board of directors.
“Silvercar represents not just the future of the car rental industry, but a vision for the future of mobility,” said Keogh, in a statement. “We want to utilize the company’s strengths in technology and innovation to merge connectivity and mobility for today’s consumer.”
Silvercar said it saw its business triple in 2015. In the past six months, Silvercar opened in Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, and New York City. Additionally, the World Travel Awards recognized Silvercar, whose customer satisfaction and loyalty scores remain the highest in the industry, as “North America’s Leading Car Rental Company.”
Altogether, Silvercar has raised $60 million. Started in 2012, it now has 150 employees. Schneider and the founders got the idea after having one too many frustrating experiences at the rental car counter. Disgusted by a white minivan they had been “upgraded” to for a cool golf weekend, they realized that renting a car hadn’t really changed in decades, which got them started thinking about Silvercar.