RelayRides, a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace, today announced that it is expanding its services nationwide. RelayRides enables car owners to rent their vehicles to members of their local communities and has received more than $13 million in venture capital funding from investors including Google Ventures and GM Ventures, August Capital, and Shasta Ventures.
RelayRides' national expansion is being made possible by its new "key-exchange" program, where car owners and renters arrange for an exchange of the vehicle's keys. Prior to today's announcement RelayRides had operated in Boston and San Francisco and required vehicle owners to install dedicated equipment from RelayRides. The company also announced in 2011 an exclusive relationship that will allow millions of GM vehicle owners to leverage the OnStar system to rent out their idle cars through the RelayRides marketplace, with no additional hardware installation needed.
"Since the day we first launched in Boston, we have received thousands of requests to expand into more communities," said RelayRides founder and chief community officer Shelby Clark. "Today, we are thrilled to be able to finally meet this demand. Now that RelayRides' marketplace is available across the nation, every eligible driver can participate in this green, simple and economically sensible answer to the traditional car ownership model."
Disclosure: The founder/publisher of Green VC (and author of this post) is a car owner that uses RelayRides.