Zuru car rental app which connects local car owners and travelers looking to hire cars in Kenya has secured pre-seed funding from angel investors to expand across the country and strengthen its team and build brand awareness.
In a statement, Zuru Car Rental CEO Rawlings Otini , said the funding was secured from local angel investors and is a validation of the company’s work and traction since its launch.
“The funding is a validation and a testament that local investors are ready to invest in local businesses. We expect to strengthen our team with new hires and build on our brand awareness to serve more Kenyans,” he said. Otini did not disclose the amount of investment but said it will go towards promotion and brand awareness.
The car rental marketplace is also testing its iOS version ahead of launch next week having run on Android and web platforms for the better part of the year.
The app also has improved features, now customers can send vehicle requests to five hosts at once to increase chances of getting a car with one request. This will help to eliminate the delays that occur when one host takes long to respond to a customer booking request.
The platform now has vehicles in six towns which are Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Thika, Kisii, and Eldoret.
The platform is seeking to reduce the huge mismatch between the 3 million available cars in Kenya and an estimated 10 million issued driving licences.
Data shows that Kenya has 70 cars per 1000 people compared to 800 cars per 1000 people in the United States meaning that Kenyans have a sharp shortage of cars.
Hence the mission of the platform is to ensure that Kenyans get to hire cars when and wherever they are across the country. It also provides a credible platform with verified customers and car owners to guard against fraudsters.
“We are happy to provide the infrastructure on which Kenyans are building businesses and also where travelers can get cars hustle free,” he said.
This will go a long way in reducing pollution and congestion in cities by bringing cars into the circular economy. This way the CEO says one car can replace the need for 20 cars. Most vehicles in Kenya spend 80 percent of the day in the parking lot meaning that vehicle owners don’t get maximum utility from those cars.
The app has helped many car owners build businesses from the comfort of their homes by hiring out their vehicles. This means that they have extra revenues from their cars.
The CEO warned Kenyans to be alert as the holiday season approaches saying many people are usually conned trying to hire cars from rogue business people. He said the company is organizing training sessions for car owners on customer vetting, Covid-19 safety measures and business tips.