Australian car sharing platform Car Next Door just raised $5 million

Car Next Door founders Will Davies (front) and Dave Trumbull (back seat). Image: Supplied

Startup Car Next Door closed a Series B capital raise oversubscribed at $5 million with Caltex, venture capitalist Roger Allen, Trevor Folsom’s early-stage investment group, Investible, and Shark Tank’s Steve Baxter as investors.

Baxter backed the peer-to-peer car sharing platform with $300,000 in funding for a 4% stake when the startup appeared on the Shark Tank television show in 2015.

Founders Will Davies and Dave Trumbull pitched their idea on the show, as a way for Australians to offset the costs of owning a car by renting it out when they’re not using it.

The car sharing platform, launched in 2012 to connect car owners with trusted borrowers, also raised funds from sophisticated investors through crowd-sourced equity funding platform Equitise.

“We wanted to provide the opportunity for smaller investors to get involved. We were aiming for a minimum of $500,000 and we ended with 60% over that,” says Davies, the CEO and co-founder.

“This was a test run, ultimately we want to extend this to all of our users. We’d love to see 1000 of our users investing in us as well as using the platform.”

Other investors include Macquarie Group, Hollard Insurance Company and Russian investment firm Larix VC.

Car Next Door now has 1300 cars and 60,000 borrowers. It also saw a five-time growth trajectory across all key metrics since its last capital raise closed two years ago.

“This month we hit a new record — 2000 bookings in one week,” says Davies.

“When we first started, in 2012, it took us a year to reach that number.”

Car Next Door operates in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. There are plans to move into Canberra, Adelaide and Perth in the next six months.