Building on the launch of Uber Rent and expanded partnership between Uber and Vistara portfolio company Getaround, Softbank today announced it has led a $300 million investment in the company. Congratulations to the founders and entire team who have executed remarkably on their ambitious growth plan since Vistara’s provided a growth capital facility to Getaround in 2016.
Softbank’s interest in ride-sharing, self driving cars and connect car technology is no secret after investments in Uber, India’s Ola, Singapore’s Grab, China’s Didi Chuxing, Brazil’s 99, and General Motor’s Cruise division. Just as Softbank is helping Uber and others disrupt the taxi industry through its investment in Getaround, it is now taking on the car rental industry as well. Vistara shares Softbank’s thesis that complementing ride-sharing with car-sharing can, per Getaround CEO Sam Zaid, meet “most of a person’s transportation needs.”
Softbank’s investment into Getaround follows a strategic investment and partnership with Toyota. “We wanted to get the right partner, fill up the tank and go full speed,” Zaid said. Full speed includes continuing to expand Getaround’s branded presence geographically, driving car-sharing adoption through Uber Rents and SoftBank’s other mobility portfolio companies, as well as being designed into Toyota and other cars that are rolling off the lot “ready-to-share”. As was evident when Vistara made the investment in 2016, Getaround’s traction in San Francisco and its first few new markets showed the enormous size of the opportunity for car-sharing using the company’s GetaroundConnect technology.
Vistara has been thrilled to play its part in helping enable Getaround’s vision and growth to date. The company’s decision to extend runway between Series B and C rounds with Vistara’s less dilutive capital is now looking even smarter with this latest financing, if we do say so ourselves! Congrats again to CEO Sam Zaid, CFO Adam Kosmicki, and the entire Getaround team.