Author: Ingrid Lunden
The ridesharing-disruptive car service space in the U.S. is about to get a little more crowded: Carpooling.com, a ridesharing service out of Munich, Germany currently enabling million rides monthly, is today announcing a C-round of investment from carmaker Daimler, which it will be using to expand to the other side of the Atlantic starting in the fourth quarter of this year. Financial terms of the investment have not been disclosed but TechCrunch has heard from a reliable source that it is €8 million ($10 million).
The deal makes Daimler a strategic investor in the company. Other existing investors include the European VC firm Earlybird, which has invested in the company’s previous two rounds, as well as Carpooling.com’s founders.
Carpooling.com’s entry into the U.S. comes at a time when services like Uber are expanding fast, and carsharing services that compete more directly with Carpooling are just starting to take off, too. Zimride in April said it had clocked up 26,000 carpools among 350,000 registered users. If Carpooling.com can grow at the same pace as it has done in the 40 countries, covering four million registered users, where it already operates, that would make it potentially a very strong competitor for Zimride. However, a spokesperson notes that in reality it’s great that Zimride exists to help establish the market. “Our real competitors are train companies and other public transport providers,” she noted.
Read the full article at http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/26/carpooling-daimler-carwars.