Peer-to-peer car sharing startup Getaround raises $3.4M

Neighbor-to-neighbor car sharing startup Getaround has raised a seed round of funding of $3.4 million. Investors in the round include TechCrunch creator Michael Arringtonā€˜s Crunchfund, Redpoint Ventures, General Catalyst, and a group of angel investors including Netflix founder Marc Randolph, and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg. The news was reported first on TechCrunch, and the investment is one of the first investments by the CrunchFund.

Getaround is one of the growing number of startups that are building businesses around collaborative consumption, or using the web and mobile to share “stuff,” from cars to tools to apartments (Airbnb). We’ve covered this topic at our Green:Net event and will be looking at the trend further at our Roadmap event in November. Getaround says they have signedup 5,000 car owners to participate in the network.

The idea behind peer-to-peer car sharing, or car sharing 2.0, is that car owners rent out their cars by the minute or hour to members of the network. In contrast, a more traditional car sharing company like Zipcar (s ZIP) owns the cars in its fleet and rents those out to members of the Zipcar network. For peer-to-peer car sharing, the car owners can make thousands of dollars from renting out their cars. Frost and Sullivan has estimated that car owners can earn an average of $2,000 a year.

Another big difference between traditional car sharing and car sharing 2.0, is that startups building businesses off of peer-to-peer car sharing don’t have the high overhead costs of actually owning the car fleet. Zipcar hasn’t been profitable, largely because of the sizable costs of maintaining and buying cars, and Zipcar also includes the cost of gas in its service, which could rise considerably.

Getaround competes with startup RelayRides, which itself raised millions from Google Ventures and August Capital. Getaround and RelayRides are mainly different because Getaround sends its car owners a kit that they install themselves, which enables users to rent out and unlock cars using a mobile app. RelayRides installs that system for its users.

Here’s the full list of angel investors in Getaround that the company provided to me:

  • Marc Randolph (Netflix founder)
  • Barney Pell (Powerset founder, ex-Microsoft)
  • Matt Mullenweg (WordPress founder)
  • Vivi Nevo (Time Warner largest shareholder)
  • Simon Rothman (eBay Motors founder, Early Tesla board member, Glyde founder)
  • Bruno Bowden (Early Googler)
  • Fabrice Grinda (OLX founder), Thomas McInerney (Klout)
  • Farhad Mohit (Shopzilla founder, Bizrate founder)
  • Adam Schwartz (Articulate founder, Screenr founder)
  • Ken Keller (Cadence founder, IGN founder)
  • Angus Davis (Tellme founder, Swipely founder)
  • Lucas Nealan (Early Facebooker)
  • Brian Shire (Early Facebooker)
  • Tom McInerney

See our videos of Getaround, which showed us its new iPhone app last month, and RelayRides below: