Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
A new car rental website that helps consumers find deals from local, independent companies has launched in the UK today.
RentMama.com promises to simplify the car-rental process with a platform that provides flexible offers from local, independent firms, pulling all the offers together into one place. The company is one of the startups to emerge from the UK’s first £1m startup accelerator programme.
Two weeks ago, The Next Web went along to meet a bunch of young startups at Ignite100, and as we wrote at the time, it was a proud moment for England’s Northeast startup scene. We’ve already covered a couple of the firms – Artspotter, which is an app that helps users discover art and cultural events and exhibitions; and CrowdIPR which we covered at the weekend, a crowdsourced intellectual property (IP) search platform.
Whilst there are a plethora of global car rental brands dominating the likes of Yell.com and other price-comparison websites, these are typically focused on a national level. RentMama’s mission is to help consumers find more affordable deals at a local level, with a “more personal service” and additional benefits such as being able to choose the exact car model, flexible pick-up times and deals more attractive to younger drivers.
“There are more than 25,000 independent small and medium car rental businesses in the EU alone,” said co-founder Gunars Grundstoks’ during his investors’ pitch a couple of weeks back. “They’re all competing with a small handful of international car rental companies that control 70% of the entire car rental market.”
That’s where RentMama comes in, with Gunars asserting that smaller, independent car rental firms can significantly improve their online presence. It promises to revolutionize the car rental market by uniting small and medium-sized independent car rental businesses and giving them a platform for renters to discover flexible personalised deals.
The website has been piloted in Northeast of England for the past month and has already partnered with more than 30 independent car hire companies, with 2,000 cars available via RentMama.com for its official launch today.
RentMama.com was founded in Latvia in 2010, where it claims to have 70% of the car rental companies on-board. Gunars believes the potential of the business could transform car-hire in the UK.
“Most people simply don’t realise there is so much choice available to them, and they’re losing out,” he says. “Local car hire companies nearby can offer affordable prices, more convenient pick-up times and even better deals for younger drivers…RentMama.com brings all these local suppliers together, so wherever you live, people will soon be able to find a better deal that suits them.”
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