According to The Australian Financial Review today, Carsharing at airports - dominated by the big global car rental giants Avis/Budget, Hertz and Europcar - is a fast-growing but crowded market, raising questions about how many players it can support.
DriveMyCar, owned by the listed peer-to-peer markets operator Collaborate Corp, is the latest start-up to offer carsharing - where people rent idle vehicles from one another at cheap rates - at major airports.
The company's chief executive Chris Noone said revenue is $400,000 a quarter and growing at 40-60 per cent a year.
Carhood, a 15 month old business started in a house in Gladstone Park, next to Melbourne Airport, is headed to Sydney. Co-founder Steve Johnson claims a heady growth rate - 20-25 per cent month-on-month - on revenue of $1/2 million in its maiden 12 months.
Mr Johnson said Carhood had scaled back a $3.5 million capital raising announced last August to $2 million because revenue exceeded expectations and the board decided "there was no need to raise and dilute more than what was needed."
Airport rentals account for half to three-quarters of the $2 billion national rentals market depending on the season.
But the market crush raises questions about whether there is room for everyone or whether there will have to consolidation or buyouts by the global giants.
DriveMyCar was a late entrant too but Mr Noone is confident the time is right. "I think there's an opportunity to provide customers with a much better deal," he said.
DriveMyCar claims it offers cars at discounts of 40-60 per cent for four day rentals and 33-44 per cent on ten day rentals.
Carsharing companies keep overheads to a minimum - they don't own cars or lease expensive real estate at airports. DriveMyCar offers idle private cars for rental from four-seven days to 12 months.
DriveMyCar avoids high airport charges by partnering with airport parking businesses Park and Fly Shuttle in Sydney and Easy Airport Parking in Melbourne. In Brisbane it has its own premises at Eagle Farm, near Brisbane Airport.
"All the customer needs to do is walk out to the shuttle bus, take it to the parking area, inspect the vehicle and drive off," Mr Noone said.
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