Portfolio

Press release: Virtuo, the leading start-up in Europe for 100% mobile car leasing, raises €7.5m from Balderton Capital

SEP 14, 2017

Virtuo, the leading start-up in Europe for 100% mobile car leasing, raises €7.5m from Balderton Capital

  • 100% mobile car rental company plans rapid expansion in France and Europe
  • Premium cars bookable through a mobile app at railway stations and airports
  • Six million km travelled in 18 months, elected best app of the year

Paris, 14th September 2017

Virtuo has raised €7.5m (£6.8m) in a new funding round with Balderton Capital, one of Europe’s most active early stage investors.

Launched in April 2016, Virtuo is the only car rental service in Europe that is 100% mobile. Available in airports and railway stations in Paris, Virtuo has rapidly expanded in France in 2016 and 2017, offering its service at transport hubs in towns and cities with significant touristic traffic, like Nice Airport, Avignon or Aix-en-Provence railway stations.

Virtuo has experienced a high level of growth in the last year, with more than 6 million kilometres travelled by customers who are able to rent a car, at any time, with only a few clicks of a smart phone.

With funding from Balderton Capital, based in London, Virtuo plans to expand into other big French and European cities.

Karim Kaddoura and Thibault Chassagne, Virtuo’s founders said: “In just one year, Virtuo’s progress has exceeded our expectations. The Virtuo app is transforming the car rental sector and puts freedom back in the hands of thousands of customers. With the money we have raised we will be able to open new stations in France and in other European countries. In Balderton Capital and Bernard Liautaud we have found a financial partner whose advice and knowledge will be crucial to the next stage of our journey.”

Bernard Liautaud, managing partner at Balderton Capital, said: “Public and private transport systems in cities are changing rapidly and visitors and city dwellers alike are being offered many more digitally-powered ways to get around. We are moving rapidly to a world where people will own less cars but they still want the freedom of access to a car they can drive, at a time and place that suits them. By transforming the car hire experience, Virtuo is bringing another key element of on-demand mobility to business and personal users.”

******

Media Contacts

DGM Conseil for Virtuo
Thomas de Climens / Hugues Schmitt 
+33 1 40 70 11 89
thomasdeclimens@dgm-conseil.fr 
h.schmitt@dgm-conseil.fr 

Raoul for Balderton
Sibylle de Villeneuve
+33 6 45 29 58 57
sibylle@agenceraoul.com   

About Virtuo

Virtuo was founded in 2015 by Karim Kaddoura and Thibault Chassagne and the service launched in April 2016.

In 2015, Virtuo raised €1.7m from:

  • Xavier Niel – Founder of Free
  • Thibaut Elzière – Founder Fotolia/ e-founders
  • Philippe Carle – CEO Marsh McLennan
  • David Amsellem – Founder and CEO conciergerie John Paul
  • Clément Benoit – Founder of Resto-In/ Stuart

In September 2017, Virtuo raised €7.5m from Balderton Capital, the London-based early stage investor. 

Virtuo service is available at more than 10 transport hubs in France

  • Airports: CDG, Orly, Nice
  • Railway stations: Montparnasse, Gare de Lyon, Gare du Nord, Lyon Part-Dieu, Aix-en-Provence, Avignon
  • Stations: Champs Elysées, Madeleine, Boulogne, Neuilly

Virtuo in figures:

  • More than 6 million kilometres travelled.
  • More than 150 000 downloads of the App. 
  • Virtuo’s App elected “Best App of the year 2016” by Apple. 

How Virtuo works:

  • Drivers can register in less than 15 minutes: account creation requires credit card information, registration of identity card and driving license. Information is validated through face recognition. 
  • Drivers can locate their car immediately: forget waiting for ages at the car rental company counter, Virtuo’s app leads the customer straight to the car park where Virtuo’s cars are available. The car is unlocked with a smartphone, after downloading its digital key. The location is confirmed by the app and the smartphone’s camera.
  • Virtuo offers a single model of car: the Mercedes Class A, with automatic clutch, reverse camera and GPS tracker. With Virtuo there are no more disappointments on receiving the car, and no need to pay more to get premium features.
  • Virtuo has accessible and transparent pricing: the tariff varies from 49€ to 89€ per day, depending on demand, period and rental duration. The tariff includes up to 150km of travel, with the option to exceed this for a surcharge of 0,10€ per kilometer. A second driver can be registered if they possess a Virtuo account. 
  • Easy and efficient contact with Virtuo’s customer service team: an integrated chat module allows the user to ask questions and receive answers in real time.

About Balderton

Balderton Capital is Europe’s largest early stage venture capital investor, focused on investing in the best European technology companies at Series A. Based in London, the firm manages $2.3bn and invests in companies with the potential to disrupt huge industries and the ambition to scale globally. Notable investments include Talend (went public on Nasdaq in 2016); Magic Pony Technologies (acquired by Twitter in 2016); Betfair (went public on FTSE 2010);  and YOOX Group (went public in Italy in 2009). 

Stay in touch with Balderton

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on news from Balderton, and our portfolio.