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Luxury German automaker Audi has shared that they will be acquiring Silvercar, the startup car rental company that has disrupted the industry as of late. Audi currently owns 20% of the company after investing $28 million in the startup last year. But after the deal goes through, they will own 100% of Silvercar, which was founded in 2012 with the goal of improving the typically lousy experience customers have with traditional rental car companies.
Silvercar uses technology to streamline the process of renting a car — you can make a reservation, request pickup from the airport and unlock the vehicle all in the mobile app. Whereas traditional rental car companies charge fees for just about everything but with Silvercar you don’t experience the price gouging. Its fleet — comprised exclusively of Audi A4s — includes free GPS, Wi-Fi and satellite radio, fair toll prices, and you’ll be charged at market prices (plus a $5 fill-up fee) if you bring back your car without a full fuel tank.
Silvercar currently operates in 12 cities, with most of the rental locations being located near the cities’ airports. TPG contributors have had great experiences with the product and have found the prices to be reasonable. Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group, is expected to complete the acquisition by the end of June, pending regulatory approval. Under the new ownership, it’s likely we’ll the service expand to more cities as well as more innovation in the space.
For now, it sounds like nothing will change about how Silvercar operates. But like all takeovers, there sure to be some eventual changes. In a press release, Audi gave few details about what they actually plan for the rental startup, though it seems that it’s taking part in a current trend for large automakers to invest in mobility companies:
Note that if you haven’t used Silvercar yet, you can earn a $25 credit on your first rental by entering this code: BKELLY1.
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