Getting around town without a car can be a hassle. And while owning a car brings convenience – it also brings a lot of extra costs, like insurance and parking. One start-up trying to solve both problems is Getaround.
“We enable car owners to share their car when they’re not using it, which is about 23 hours a day, making over $10,000 a year,” pitched Jessica Scorpio. “We’re connecting car owners with people who need a car.”
CNBC gave the car-sharing start-up founder just 60 seconds to “Power Pitch” her business to Corum Group President Nat Burgess, Vast Ventures Partner Nikhil Kalghatgi, Revolution Director Evan Morgan, and CNBC host Mandy Drury.
Click the video above to see whether our panelists get in or get out on Getaround.
Getting Getaround started
The idea for Getaround came out of a brainstorming session at graduate school in 2009. Google (GOOG) founder Larry Page challenged the class to develop an idea that would affect 1 billion people in 10 years’ time.
Scorpio, along with her co-founder Sam Zaid figured that with 1 billion cars on the road, the problem of car over-population would be a huge business opportunity if they could figure out a way to fix it.
Renting your neighbor’s car
Car owners can list their car on the platform for free, and set the price of the rental. Getaround takes a 40 percent cut from the owner to cover advertising and marketing, insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance and customer support.
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One feature Scorpio said accelerated growth was “Getaround Instant,” which launched last year and is currently available only in San Francisco. Owners install a patented car kit that provides security features such as GPS tracking, tamper detection and engine lock. People who want to rent cars enabled with the kit can do so instantly, without having to meet the owner and get the key. The technology allows the car to be unlocked through the start-up’s iPhone app. The kit costs $99 to install, and there’s a $20 monthly service fee.
Driving the competition
Getaround is not alone in the car-sharing space, which is crowded with Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and Zipcar, but Scorpio said she is not concerned.
“We’re actually extremely complementary to the on-demand ride-sharing services,” Scorpio said. “So with those, you’re taking the car from point A to point B. With Getaround, you’re using it for a bit of a longer trip.” In other words, Getaround gets you from point A to point B, then back to point A.
Scorpio said customers also like the community feel. “[People] are not only making money, but they’re helping out their neighbor.”
Getaround is currently available in five cities: San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, Austin and San Diego.
Power Pitch panelist and Corum Group President Nat Burgess said he was interested in how they were able to work with Yahoo (YHOO) CEO and investor Marissa Mayer.
Scorpio said they met Mayer during TechCrunch Disrupt in 2011 where they won the competition. “She was very impressed with the team, and the roadblocks we were able to knock to get to market, the insurance policy, the legislation we passed, and most importantly, Getaround Connect which is our hardware which lets people unlock the car with their phone,” Scorpio said.
Getaround was founded in 2011 and so far has raised $19 million from Mayer, Shervin Pishevar, Mike Arrington, Ashton Kutcher, among others. The company would not disclose revenue or how many cars it currently lists on the site.
See Jessica Scorpio pitch her start-up Getaround to “Power Pitch” panelists Corum Group President Nat Burgess, Vast Ventures Partner Nikhil Kalghatgi and Revolution Director Evan Morgan.
--Additional reporting by Joanna Weinstein and Kelly Lin
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