SoftBank Invests in Another Car-Sharing Startup: Getaround

(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. is leading a $300 million funding round into Getaround, a San Francisco-based car-sharing service.

The investment signals the Japanese internet giant’s growing interest in next-generation car use. SoftBank has already invested in ride-sharing companies including India’s Ola, Singapore’s Grab and China’s Didi Chuxing, as well as Uber Technologies Inc. Earlier this year, SoftBank also announced a $2.25 billion investment in General Motor Co.’s self-driving unit, Cruise.

The deal valued Getaround at more than $800 million, including the money it’s raised, according to a source familiar with the discussions, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Getaround declined to disclose its valuation. 

SoftBank Invests in Another Car-Sharing Startup: Getaround

Getaround founder and Chief Executive Officer Sam Zaid said the funding would help the company, currently in 66 U.S. cities, expand faster—including internationally. 

“That was one of the reasons we were excited to work with SoftBank,” Zaid said, noting the firm’s reach in Asia and beyond. Another reason, he said, was SoftBank’s encouragement that companies in its portfolio work together drive growth. Getaround already partners with Uber.

Before its latest funding round, the nine-year-old company had previously raised a total of about $100 million from investors including Menlo Ventures and Toyota Motor Corp. The SoftBank managing partner handling the deal, Michael Ronen, also led SoftBank’s deal with Cruise. 

Competitors to Getaround include U.S.-based Turo Inc., U.K.-based Hiyacar, France-based Drivy, Netherlands-based SnappCar and Australia-based Car Next Door.   

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