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RelayRides is challenging the rental car industry


Something new is in the works to possibly alter the way we live and do business aside from another social networking site. RelayRides has raised $25 Million in a quest to radically transform the rental car business reported Mashable on June 24, 2014. RelayRides is a San Francisco-based car sharing service which announced a $25 million funding round on Tuesday.

This funding, which is a series B round, has brought the company's total fundraising to $44 million. This round was led by Canaan Partners and included present investors such as Shasta Ventures, GoogleVentures, August Capital. RelayRides began as a service for people to rent their idle cars by the hour. Since than the firm has shifted its focus to long-term rentals. This is a more lucrative end of the business than just hourly rentals which the firm was previously advertising. Airport rentals are now being offered to compete with established firms such as Avis, Hertz, and Dollar.

At this time RelayRides offers cars at 300 airports across the United States. Its initial setup at San Francisco International Airport has served as a blueprint for where the firm wants to go. At SFO the firm has its own off-site parking lot where users can drop off their car for free in exchange for allowing visitors to drive it while they're away. In addition to this the car owners also are paid $0.10 per mile along with a car wash, and of course, free parking. With this set-up RelayRides doesn't have to to purchase its own fleet of cars.

Over the past year RelayRides has been increasing its average rental times and revenues by focusing primarily on daily and multi-day rentals reports TechCrunch. This has made it easy for the firm to raise an additional $25 million in Series B funding which was led by Canaan Partners. The average length of rentals for RelayRides has been increasing dramatically with the average rental now up to about five days. And since people now are required to meet face-to-face when they are borrowing a car it is much less likely the rented cars won't be treated well. It looks like RelayRides has some keen competition to offer the rent-a-car industry.

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