Paris-based startup Virtuo aims to disrupt car rental market with fresh funding of €20M

Bernard Liautaud, managing partner at Balderton Capital stated, “Technology in cars and other areas of mobility is evolving rapidly, due to concerns …

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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.”

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.

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European car rental startup Virtuo inks about $23 mln

European car rental service Virtuo has raised 17.3 million pounds (about $23 million) in funding. The investors were Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and …

European car rental service Virtuo has raised 17.3 million pounds (about $23 million) in funding. The investors were Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

London, 12th February 2019

Car rental startup, Virtuo, stepped up its battle against the giant car rental companies today by announcing that it has raised £17.3m from Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures to help it make a big push into the UK market in 2019. Virtuo, which currently operates in 21 locations in France and Belgium, also launches in Spain and in Germany in 2019, making it a truly pan-European rental option for drivers who are fed up with being served so poorly by the existing car hire sector.

Virtuo launched in London last summer, having been born out of frustration with traditional car rental. The Virtuo app allows users to book and unlock a pristine Mercedes A-Class or GLA in minutes, at stations across London, and the business has seen revenue grow by 10 times in the UK in the last seven months. As a whole, the company is growing at a rate of 200% per annum.

“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,” said Virtuo’s Co-founder, Karim Kaddoura. “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.”

Virtuo promises to eradicate the horrors of traditional car hire including hour-long queues at rental desks, unnecessary up-selling of insurance and accessories, never being able to get the car you actually booked, as well as opaque terms and conditions that make hiring stressful and steep penalties easy to incur. Virtuo users can complete all paperwork in the app before picking up a valeted car from their chosen spot and unlocking it with a smart key downloaded to their phone.

Through the app, drivers can extend and modify bookings in seconds and are rewarded for returning their car with extra fuel. The digital car key can be shared between four additional drivers, for no extra charge, and competitive rental rates vary depending on demand, period and rental duration.

Stéphane Pesqué, partner at Iris Capital, said: “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 of Balderton Capital, said: “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 is disrupting the car rental space with a product that sets out to fix all the pain points of traditional car rental. During 2019 the mobile-only car hire company will introduce the ability to pick up a vehicle in one place and drop it off elsewhere. It will also launch in Spain and Germany in June, further serving travellers who are frustrated by legacy car-rental companies.

Virtuo facts

Virtuo service is available at six UK locations: Waterloo, Victoria, St Pancras, Marble Arch, Kensington High Street, Stratford International and will shortly be available in Earl’s Court, Shepherd’s Bush, London Bridge, Liverpool Street and Heathrow

Further UK locations – Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh – pending

France: 19 locations

Belgium: 2 locations

Virtuo has had 500,000 downloads of the app

Age bracket of Virtuo’s customer is 25-35

Average number of days of each rental: 4

80% of customers go for the compact A Class, while 20% take SUV

325 average miles per rental

How does Virtuo work:

Customers create their account by providing their driver’s license and a selfie. The whole process takes just a couple of minutes and only has to be carried out once

Once users have decided on their preferred model, Mercedes A-Class or GLA, they can choose the best insurance coverage and personalised options that suit their needs.

The Virtuo app guides users to their car – Virtuo has no rental desks- and takes them through every step of the process.

As customers get closer to their car, they can use the virtual key in the app to unlock it.

A quick damage report is carried out in the app using your phone’s camera

Virtuo’s tariff is from £35 per day in the UK, depending on demand, period and rental duration. The tariff includes up to 150 miles of travel, with the option to exceed this for a surcharge of £0.10 per mile. Up to 4 additional drivers can be registered for each car.

Virtuo’s customer service team can be contacted 24/7 through an integrated chat module that allows the user to ask questions and receive answers in real time.

About Virtuo:

Virtuo was founded out of the frustrations of renting a car from a traditional car rental company. Launched in France in 2016, the company provides a seamless, convenient and affordable way to lease premium cars, through a mobile app. Without paperwork and available 24/7, Virtuo’s cars can be rented from convenient locations like airports and railway stations in France, Belgium and the UK, with more locations opening in 2019. www.govirtuo.com

About Iris Capital

Iris Capital is a leading European VC specialized in the digital economy. It fuels entrepreneurs at various stages of maturity, from early-stage to growth equity. With its deep sector specialization and extensive experience acquired over 30+ years, as well as the backing of its corporate sponsors, Iris Capital provides active support to its portfolio companies, through its presence in Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Dubai.

For more information, visit www.iriscapital.com

About RAISE Ventures:

Founded in 2013 by Clara Gaymard and Gonzague de Blignières, the RAISE Group is organized around four complementary activities: RAISE Investments, RAISE REIM, RAISE Ventures and the RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund.

– RAISE Investments is a €410 million development capital company targeting ITEs with strong growth potential and taking stakes of between €10 million and €50 million;

– RAISE REIM, a portfolio management company dedicated to real estate, whose first vehicle has a capital of 210M€;

– RAISE Ventures, a €60 million investment company targeting innovative start-ups, within which RAISE Media Investment, a media investment company, is integrated;

– The RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund, a philanthropic structure with a budget of more than €22 million to support, finance and network startups in order to help them build sustainable adventures.

The RAISE Group is based on a financing mechanism that combines profitability and generosity, since the investment teams give 50% of their profit-sharing to finance the RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund. This pioneering system in France makes it possible to create a virtuous ecosystem, combining large groups and institutional shareholders, TWAs and startups.

For more information: www.raise.co

About Balderton Capital:

Balderton Capital is Europe’s largest early stage venture capital investor, focused on European technology companies at Series A. Based in London, the firm manages $2.6bn and invests in entrepreneurs building globally ambitious businesses. Balderton’s Partners and advisory team include the founders and operational leaders of multi-billion dollar companies including Business Objects, Dropbox, Uber and Autonomy. Previous investments include Betfair (FTSE: BET), Magic Pony (Twitter), NaturalMotion (Zynga), Sunrise (Microsoft) and Yoox Net-a-Porter (BIT: YNAP). Among Balderton’s current portfolio of 76 companies are: Aircall, Carwow, Citymapper, Contentful, GoCardless, The Hut Group, Kobalt Music, Nutmeg, Prodigy Finance, Recorded Future, Revolut, ROLI, SOPHiA Genetics, Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), Vestiaire Collective, and Vivino. For more see http://www.balderton.com or follow @balderton.

London car hire start-up raises £17.3m for UK expansion

Bernard Liautaud, managing partner of Balderton Capital said, “Technology in cars and other areas of mobility is evolving rapidly, due to concerns …

Car rental start-up, Virtuo, stepped up its battle against the giant car rental companies today by announcing that it has raised £17.3m from Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures to help it make a big push into the UK market in 2019. Virtuo, which currently operates in 21 locations in France and Belgium, also launches in Spain and in Germany in 2019, making it a truly pan-European rental option for drivers who are fed up with being served so poorly by the existing car hire sector.

Virtuo launched in London last summer, having been born out of frustration with traditional car rental. The Virtuo app allows users to book and unlock a pristine Mercedes A-Class or GLA in minutes, at stations across London, and the business has seen revenue grow by 10 times in the UK in the last seven months. As a whole, the company is growing at a rate of 200% per annum.

Virtuo’s Co-founder, Karim Kaddoura said, “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.”

Virtuo promises to eradicate the horrors of traditional car hire including hour-long queues at rental desks, unnecessary up-selling of insurance and accessories, never being able to get the car you actually booked, as well as opaque terms and conditions that make hiring stressful and steep penalties easy to incur. Virtuo users can complete all paperwork in the app before picking up a valeted car from their chosen spot and unlocking it with a smart key downloaded to their phone.

Through the app, drivers can extend and modify bookings in seconds and are rewarded for returning their car with extra fuel. The digital car key can be shared between four additional drivers, for no extra charge, and competitive rental rates vary depending on demand, period and rental duration.

Stéphane Pesqué, partner at Iris Capital said, “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 of Balderton Capital said, “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 is disrupting the car rental space with a product that sets out to fix all the pain points of traditional car rental. During 2019 the mobile-only car hire company will introduce the ability to pick up a vehicle in one place and drop it off elsewhere. It will also launch in Spain and Germany in June, further serving travellers who are frustrated by legacy car-rental companies.

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Virtuo Raises £17.3M in Series B Funding

Virtuo, a Paris, France-based car rental startup, raised £17.3m in Series B funding. Backers included Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and Raise …

virtuoVirtuo, a Paris, France-based car rental startup, raised £17.3m in Series B funding.

Backers included Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures.

The company intends to use the funds to continue to expand operations and its business reach.

Launched in France in 2016 by Karim Kaddoura, Virtuo provides an app that allows users to book and unlock premium cars. Available 24/7, cars can be rented from locations like airports and railway stations in France, Belgium and the UK, with more locations opening in 2019.

The company aims to expand into the UK, Spain and in Germany in 2019.

Users can complete all paperwork in the app, including the choice of the best insurance coverage and personalised options that suit their needs, before picking up a valeted car from their chosen spot and unlocking it with a smart key downloaded to their phone. Through the app, drivers can extend and modify bookings in seconds and are rewarded for returning their car with extra fuel. The digital car key can be shared between four additional drivers, for no extra charge, and competitive rental rates vary depending on demand, period and rental duration.

The tariff is from £35 per day in the UK, depending on demand, period and rental duration. The tariff includes up to 150 miles of travel, with the option to exceed this for a surcharge of £0.10 per mile. Up to 4 additional drivers can be registered for each car.

The customer service team can be contacted 24/7 through an integrated chat module that allows the user to ask questions and receive answers in real time.

Virtuo has had 500,000 downloads of the app.

FinSMEs

12/02/2019

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Paris-based digital car rental service Virtuo raises €20 million Series B to roll out across Europe

… in 2016, the startup has just raised €20 million in Series B funding led by Iris Capital with participation from RAISE Ventures and Balderton Capital.
virtuo_founders

Parisian startup Virtuo is the first player on its market to offer 100% paperless car rental services, eliminating rental desks through a mobile app.

Founded in 2016, the startup has just raised €20 million in Series B funding led by Iris Capital with participation from RAISE Ventures and Balderton Capital. With operations in France, Belgium and the UK, Virtuo has raised almost €30 million to date to digitise the car rental industry across Europe.

Virtuo is a next-generation car rental service, with a fleet of connected vehicles accessible 24/7 through its app. Through its fully digital rental process, customers can book, pick up and return vehicles freely – using scanned copy of their driving licenses and digital keys in any of Virtuo’s 30 rental stations located in city centres, rail stations and airports in France, Belgium and the UK.

The new funding round will support the startup’s growth in the markets where it already operates: France, Belgium, and the UK. The company also plans to launch its service in Spain and Germany in 2019, and is considering a move to the US market.

Virtuo also plans to use the new funds to invest in R&D and step up its innovation by introducing new features, as well as to expand its premium fleet from 1,000 available vehicles to 3,000 by the end of the year, and to grow its workforce from 45 to 90 by the end of the year.

“The past two years have been very busy for Virtuo with a strong growth and expansion in two new markets,” said Thibault Chassagne, Virtuo co-founder & CEO. “These achievements let us put our rental model to test while confirming that it meets customers’ needs. This new funding round will help us roll out our service model at the European scale, facilitating travel for a maximum number of users.”

“Shared mobility and its democratized access are key for the European market and we have a sharp eye on new companies disrupting the travel industry, especially when they offer a 100% digital service and a guarantee of high-quality service,” said Stéphane Pesqué, Partner at Iris Capital. “Virtuo is at the very heart of this new industry and we are proud to support its ambition to become the European leader.”

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