RelayRides Buys P2P Car Sharing Company Wheelz

Posted May 14, 2013

RelayRides is a marketplace where car owners can list their vehicles and people that need a ride can rent one by the hour or day.  RelayRides has acquired a competitor called Wheelz.  RelayRides will gain ownership of Wheelz’s assets and IP.  RelayRides is hiring Wheelz’s 10 employees also.  Based in San Francisco, RelayRides launched around 5 years ago and is available across the nation.

RelayRides is growing at a rapid pace and they have cars in over 1,500 cities across the U.S.  The company launched nation-wide around a year ago.  At that time, RelayRides was seeing rental reservation hours and active listings increase by over 500%.

Wheelz will bring a lot of technical expertise when joining RelayRides.  RelayRides requires car owners to hand off their keys, but Wheelz requires that car owners install a piece of hardware into their cars called DriveBox.  DriveBox lets renters unlock the vehicles and get access to the cars without having to meet owners to get their keys.

Wheelz was available in San Francisco, L.A., and several university campuses in California at the time of the acquisition.  RelayRides CEO Andre Haddad reported that Wheelz is working on lower-cost hardware that would make DriveBox cheaper to produce.

Wheelz raised $13.7 million in funding before launching in San Francisco and L.A. last year.  RelayRides raised a total of $13 million since being founded in 2008.

The terms of the acquisition was undisclosed, but we know that there was stock involved.  Wheelz’s investors like Zipcar and Fontinalis Partners will become shareholders in the combined company.