After raising $8.3 million in May, French peer-to-peer car sharing platform Drivy launches its service in Germany today. Drivy will start its beta version in Berlin with more German cities to come in Q1 of 2015.
Drivy was founded in 2010 by Paulin Dementhon. In two rounds, it raised $ 10.9 million by Alven Capital and Index Ventures. The company reports to be the European market leader in its space. It has 350,000 registered users and 20,000 cars on its platform in France alone. Germany is the first country Drivy is expanding to.
Not owning a car makes a lot of sense for many people in Berlin. Also, given the expenses, the parking situation, and a well working public transportation system, those who own a car often do not use it on a daily basis. According to a study a typical car registered in Germany is used on average only one hour a day. Letting it while not in use therefore makes just as much as sense as subletting one’s apartment while on vacation.
While well-known services like Car2Go and DriveNow offer rental cars and charge drivers by time, Drivy offers peer-to-peer car sharing. Similar to car rentals already out there, the amount is charged on a daily basis.
While the case of Car2Go and DriveNow is mostly short time rental to get from A to B, Drivy offers an solution for roundtrips, e.g. to get away for a weekend. Car owners pick a price and get charged 30% by Drivy. That amount includes insurance.
“We are very happy to kick off our international expansion in Berlin as the first city in Germany. This city has ideal market conditions as the people of Berlin are very open to sharing concepts and are used to complementary services like inner city carsharing,” Paulin Dementhon, Drivy’s CEO, explains.
The problem Drivy will face however is the same as on every marketplace: the so-called chicken-egg problem. That means to build a community of car owners and renters at the same time to provide both parties a good amount of offers. Concentrating on one city at the time and taking learnings from building the community in France however should help.
After launching in Berlin today, Drivy wants to enter the market in Munich, Cologne and Hamburg in early 2015. Besides starting in more German cities, Spain is on Drivy’s launch roadmap, also planned for 2015.
Image: Stefan Wieland/Drivy