Congratulations to CEO and founder of RelayRides, Shelby Clark, and his team for launching the neighbor-to-neighbor carsharing service to San Francisco, and counting Google Ventures and August Capital as backers. Here’s a snapshot of the story:
There’s a massive shift in society from ownership to access. For example, people are happy renting DVDs from Netflix vs. buying DVDs, AirBNB allows members to rent other member’s houses, and Chegg lets students rent textbooks. There’s even a movement and book “What’s mine is yours. The rise of collaborative consumption.” How about applying this to cars?
The combined cost of owning a car – fuel, maintenance, financing and insurance – amounts to an average of over $600 a month/$20 a day, according to AAA. Meanwhile, most cars sit idle for 23 hours a day.
Carsharing helps the environment: the average shared car takes 14 vehicles off the road, plus it reduces miles traveled, congestion, pollution, and lowers the carbon footprint to build new cars. Carsharing is a $12.5 billion global market and rapidly gaining popularity.
RelayRides brings this global carsharing trend to the hyperlocal level allowing neighbor-to-neighbor carsharing. Car owners feel good because they are helping their neighbor get around. Car borrowers feel good because they know they are helping their neighbor make money. It’s like they are supporting their local small business.
Wheels of Fortune:
RelayRides provides car owners a platform to safely lend their cars to their neighbors for a fee, while providing convenient, affordable access to neighbors who need the occasional use of vehicles. They make it possible by providing the insurance (a $1 million supplemental insurance policy covers the rental period) and technology for a safe, convenient, hassle-free transaction. Car owners make an average of $200/month.
Sharing is Caring:
Rather than putting new cars on the road like other carsharing services, the company goes the eco-friendly route by leveraging existing cars that are often idle. This allows neighbors to help each other as car owners can recover some of the costs of owning an expensive asset, while also providing a new transportation option for those in need of a car.
What users are saying:
Anthony Burdi, a 2009 Prius owner in Boston:
“It’s the perfect thing for me. It’s a good way to earn revenue from my car when I’m not using it, which helps me pay for gas, insurance and other running costs. At the same time, I’m helping a neighbor by providing them access to a car. I never thought of it and kind of wish I had, because it’s a great business to be in.”
Caterina Rindi, owner of a Toyota Prius, of San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood:
“Car sharing between neighbors is great for San Francisco, as it will lead to fewer new cars on the road, which will help decrease congestion and pollution. That’s why I’m delighted to make my Prius available via RelayRides – it’s good for me, for my neighbors, and for my city.”
With more than 2.5 million downloads on Android, today Astrid brings its leading social productivity app to the iPhone. Astrid lets you update your To Do lists via email, text and voice as it provides you with statistics on the whether your tasks are active, completed, inspiring others to finish a job or simply something you’ve supported with comments.
I’m so excited, as I can now use Astrid to gently poke and prod my peeps with Astrid’s playful reminders that will make the team smile as they get things done (I’m sure they’ll enjoy it more than my barrage of emails at all hours of the day and night). You see, it’s one thing to set up your own to-do list. But it’s another thing when you also rely on others to get things done. Have you reviewed that press release yet? Queued it up on PR Newswire? Have you guys pitched the release to x, y, and z? Now I can set up my list of To Do’s for the team and see who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Of course, the team can also see when I’ve been slacking off and falling behind on my list as well (hmmm, better make this post short as I gotta get back to my Astrid list…).
RelayRides also announced they are expanding throughout San Francisco and Boston proper, enabling more people to choose access over ownership.
One of the key differences in RelayRides neighbor-to-neighbor car sharing service is that it not only provides a $1 million per transaction insurance policy to car owners, but also provides security technology to give owners the assurance that their car won’t end up in the wrong hands.
Coverage highlights included: