Peer-to-peer car sharing network Car Next Door has closed a $5 million Series B round, with the round comprising investment from existing backers Caltex and Investible and a portion raised through equity crowdfunding platform Equitise.
The startup had begun raising the Series B last year, securing $2.3 million in November from Investible and Caltex before kicking off its equity crowdfunding campaign, opening the opportunity up to sophisticated investors.
In closing out the round Car Next Door has also secured funding from investors including Steve Baxter, Macquarie Group, and Russian investment firm Larix VC.
According to cofounder and CEO Will Davies, the startup originally sought to raise a minimum of $500,000 through its crowdfunding offering, and ended up with almost $800,000.
“We wanted to provide the opportunity for smaller investors to get involved…this was a test run, ultimately we want to extend this to all of our users. We’d love to see 1,000 of our users investing in us as well as using the platform,” he said.
With retail investors at that time on track – but not yet able – to invest via equity crowdfunding, Davies said in November that Car Next Door saw its equity crowdfunding campaign as the “initial step in a wider retail crowdfunding effort down the track”.
The startup reports it now has 1,300 cars and 60,000 borrowers on its platform.
“This month we hit a new record, 2000 bookings in one week. When we first started, in 2012, it took us a year to reach that number,” Davies said.
With the $5 million in hand, Davies said the startup’s focus for the year is on continuing this growth trajectory and improving its systems; with a foothold in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Car Next Door launched on the Gold Coast in December and is planning to move into Canberra, Adelaide, and Perth within the next six months.
As the startup looks to build its user base, it is being supported by strategic investor Caltex, which has been working with Car Next Door on a handful of collaborative projects since it first invested $2 million in the startup’s $4.3 million Series A round in 2016.
The two companies first trialled a marketing campaign which saw Car Next Door advertised at the pump at a number of Caltex service stations.
They then began depositing Car Next Door vehicles at Caltex service stations for easy pick up by members.
Image: David Trumbull and Will Davies. Source: Supplied.