Rental car start-up revs up US

Exporter - - MAKING NEWS - fea­tured on, Spring­ and gain­ing ground with do­mes­tic US road-trip­pers.

Ever heard of a suc­cess­ful Amer­i­can start-up launch whose head­quar­ters are not in San Fran­cisco, but K Road in Auck­land? Now you have. Trans­fer­car is a Kiwi tech com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in ‘free’ rental cars – and that calls for an ex­pla­na­tion.

Rental car firms need to po­si­tion their fleet for new hires and re­lo­cat­ing cars us­ing truck or rail haulage is ex­pen­sive. Trans­fer­car’s CMO Pas­cal Lan­guil­lon says the com­pany’s founders cre­ated a web­site that con­nects rental car com­pa­nies need­ing to trans­fer their cars with trav­ellers ea­ger to drive them in ex­change for a free trip. “Trav­ellers get a free one-way car or cam­per­van hire while the rental com­pa­nies save big money on re­lo­ca­tion costs.” Mean­while Trans­fer­car picks up a small fee from rental op­er­a­tors for each suc­cess­ful trans­fer.

The con­cept was hatched by Espen Grim­stad while at­tend­ing Auck­land Univer­sity Busi­ness School in 2007, and his lec­turer Brian Karl­son. The busi­ness cre­ated a new mar­ket in New Zealand, suc­cess­fully com­peted across the Tas­man, and now has ‘first mover’ ad­van­tage in the US. In 2014 Trans­fer­car raised $450,000 from US en­tre­pre­neur Den­nis Round to fund ex­pan­sion in that mar­ket. Since launch­ing in Au­gust, Lan­guil­lon says the con­cept is win­ning fans in Amer­ica, hav­ing been

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