WHEELZ EVOLVES PEER-TO-PEER CAR SHARING MODEL, LAUNCHES ON STANFORD CAMPUS
All-Star Investment and Executive Team Brings New Efficiencies and Innovation to a Growing Market
Sept. 28, 2011—(PALO ALTO, CA) —Wheelz, the best way to share cars on campus, announces a new model for trusted, peer-to-peer car sharing, exclusively for Stanford students. Wheelz enables students without cars to easily find a car, get off-campus and enjoy the Bay Area, and improves the efficiency of car ownership by allowing students with cars to make hundreds of dollars each month by sharing their cars. Wheelz is free for car owners, and drivers pay by the hour, with no enrollment fees.
Wheelz is available exclusively to Stanford students at launch, and uses Facebook Connect for sign-in and account creation. Connecting with Facebook allows students to see how they know each other, ensuring a high degree of safety, and mitigating any potential risks. All drivers are insured with a $1M policy through Berkshire-Hathaway.
Wheelz launches with $2M in funding, led by The Social + Capital Partnership, Chamath Palihapitiya’s new venture fund. Palihaptiya was previously with Facebook, where he led the development of the Facebook Platform. Other investors include Felicis Ventures. Wheelz has already secured partnerships with GE, Best Buy, CoreLogic, and InstallerNet, extending its capabilities and laying the groundwork for quick expansion into new markets.
“Wheelz represents a massive step forward in the peer-to-peer car sharing model,” said Chamath Palihapitiya, principal, The Social + Capital Partnership. “In addition to a superior customer experience and technology infrastructure, what compelled us to invest in Wheelz is the strength of the executive team and its thoughtful approach to building this business and bringing it to market. With backgrounds from Tesla and Project Better Place, these guys know the automotive market inside and out. We’re thrilled to be on-board.”
For car owners, Wheelz is free and easy to install, featuring simple hardware (the Wheelz DriveBox) that allows keyless entry and GPS navigation, and online DMV checks for prospective drivers. For drivers, Wheelz provides more choice than any peer-to-peer car service with vehicle and price point flexibility including trucks, SUVs, luxury vehicles, economy cars, hybrids, or sports cars. Drivers can access Wheelz immediately via a mobile app and start driving in minutes, and the Wheelz Pit Crew is on 24-hour stand-by to help solve any problems on the road.
“We looked at the current peer-to-peer offerings, and saw innovation, but some real holes in terms of efficiencies and user experience,” said Jeff Miller, CEO, Wheelz. “We built the most convenient car sharing experience for car owners and drivers, featuring the largest fleet available, curated to fit our drivers’ needs. We chose to focus first on the campus environment that nurtures trust among the student community. We’re stoked to launch first at Stanford, and look forward to bringing Wheelz to more campuses very soon.”
Wheelz is the best way to connect people who need cars with people who have cars, and are willing to share. With the largest and most diverse campus fleet on the market, Wheelz delivers the wheels you want, when you want them. With easy enrollment, easy set-up for car owners, and no sign-up fee, Wheelz connects available cars to students who need them in minutes. Unlike any other car sharing or rental company, Wheelz has the right consumer experience, technology, team, and market focus to scale a peer-to-peer car sharing business rapidly.