Interview with GetAround: Revving up car sharing with an awesome app

Interview with GetAround: Revving up car sharing with an awesome app

Today at Tech Crunch Disrupt, all investors’ eyes were on GetAround, a San Francisco based company that has tapped into the market of collaborative consumption, acting like the AirBnB of car lending.

“We have over 250 million cars in America that sit parked and idle for 22 hours per day. GetAround is a new way for people to share cars. Instead of buying a car, you can rent one instantly from someone nearby and car owners can earn thousands a year by sharing,” explained Sam Zaid, the Founder and CEO of GetAround.

Zaid and his two Co-Founders, Elliot Kroo and Jessica Scorpio have been beta testing GetAround as a web app in the Bay Area for the past 3 months. Today at Disrupt, they launched their shiny iPhone app, a new mobile marketplace for peer-to-peer car sharing.

The GetAround service includes a car-kit that allows users to unlock a car just using their iPhone app. It’s a low-cost, easy-to-use device combining a keyless remote with WiFi and GPS that makes P2P car sharing hassle-free. According to Zaid, it’s the first ever device to securely share access to your car using only your smartphone.

GetAround features insurance backed by Berkshire Hathaway including 24 hour roadside assistance. Sign-up is free and easy but does require a Facebook account, which in my opinion, adds a nice security layer.

Monetization? Simple; GetAround takes 40% commission from each “car rental”. They’ve also raised $1.5 million from angels and a couple VCs and are expecting further investments in the coming weeks.

I caught up with the founders just after their presentation to check out their awesome new planet-saving startup.

If they win the startup competition tomorrow, they plan on taking Arrington for a spin in the Tesla they brought to Disrupt today. And considering moments after our interview, Arrington approached them with some rather flattering news, it’s looking like green lights from here.

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