UFO Drive partners with Hertz following $19m funding roundLeigh Mc Gowranon February 16, 2022 at 13:04 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Electric car rental company UFO Drive has raised $19 million in Series A funding, along with a new partnership with car rental giant Hertz.

The funding round was co-led by Hertz and Certares, in partnership with investment advisor Knighthead Capital. Existing shareholders also participated in the funding round.

UFO Drive, which featured as a Start-up of the Week in 2019, allows customers to use their smartphones to book and drive premium EVs from a variety of ‘UFO Bay’ pick-up locations. Founded by Irishman Aidan McClean and Renaud Marquet in 2018, the company currently operates in 18 locations globally including Luxembourg, Brussels and Dublin.

Following the funding announcement, Hertz said it plans to use UFO Drive’s rental and fleet management technology to enhance its global EV fleet operations.

Last October, Hertz made an order of 100,000 Teslas by the end of 2022 and new EV charging infrastructure across the its global operations. The move means that EVs will comprise more than a fifth of Hertz’s total global fleet.

“Our partnership with UFO Drive is yet another major step in Hertz becoming an essential component of the modern mobility ecosystem,” Hertz interim CEO Mark Fields said. “Together, we will pilot ways to make renting an EV even easier using UFO Drive’s digital platforms for both the rental experience and fleet management.”

UFO Drive plans to use the investment to accelerate product development and expand globally, with a focus on the US market. The company said it has experienced sustained growth during the pandemic, while adding home delivery and subscription options to its list of services.

“Born from a vision to deliver what we call ‘Radically Better Car Rental,’ this investment is a major validation of that dream,” McClean said. “We are proud that we are helping to accelerate the transition to zero-emissions mobility, and our investors see the opportunity ahead.

“We pioneered and are now the premier operating system for electric fleets and already service a growing list of high-profile mobility companies,” McClean added.

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