More than two years ago, Ludwig Skoanek, Nicholas Volk and Francesco Wiedemann looked at scooter services, ride-hailing apps, public transit, and car-sharing options available in most urban centers in the United States. market.
Consumers who did not want to drive a car, but needed one for a few days or weeks, had two options: a car rental center, possibly at an airport or outside the city center, or on a car-sharing platform go . The three friends – all German immigrants whose paths crossed into San Francisco – decided to pool their collective expertise from BMW, McKinsey and Uber without having to occupy their own expensive business and maintain a new one. Built the kind of car rental experience. Fleet.
Kyte created a fleet-logistics platform that allows consumers to rent vehicles through its app or website. The vehicles, which are located throughout the city center, are delivered by gig economy workers at the renters’ homes. Kyte also handles the pickup and takes the vehicle back at no extra charge.
“We still believe people want a car outside their door, so we thought why not put it right there,” Schonack said in a recent interview.
Kyte is with car rental firms and other companies that manage the fleet, allowing the startup to focus on consumers and technology.
The startup, which launched in late 2018 and operates in Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco, has attracted the attention of investors’ capital. The startup said it raised $ 9 million in funding on Tuesday DN Capital and Emplo VC. Several individual investors from the mobility industry also attended, including former Uber executives Ed Baker, Jog Heilig, Josh Mohler and William Barnes, as well as Lime co-founders Toby Sun and Kayak and Travelocity co-founder Terry Jones.
Already funds are being raised to help drive Kyte’s expansion into markets starting with Washington, DC
Kyte’s founders did not disclose its revenue, except to say that it was generating a “solid six-figure” amount of monthly revenue. Skonike said that Kyte’s monthly revenue has increased 400% since March as more consumers turned to cars during the COVID-19 epidemic.
“Even before COVID was on the horizon, it was clear that we needed to change the way we interact with cars,” Shonek said. Consumers are more willing to try alternatives like kites to travel because COVID-19 has shut down many from air travel.
Despite this rapid growth, Shonek said that more than half of Kyte’s bookings come from recurring users.
Kyte has also found its customers – which Shonec would only describe as the nation’s largest rental car companies – are willing and enthusiastic participants as it helps bring vehicles into customers’ hands. Rental car companies have been hit hard by COVID-19, as airports operate in large numbers. These companies were left with depreciable assets worth millions of dollars that were not producing any revenue.
Of DN Capital Co-founder and managing director Steve Schlenker believes Kyte will be a key building block for the future of mobility.
“The epidemic has accelerated the transformation of cities and consumer behavior in relation to transportation,” Schlenker said. “Kyte’s unique operating layer facilitates this change by providing a level of service and convenience that other solutions fail to meet.”