Urent, the hybrid vehicle-sharing app has raised a seven-figure Pre-Series A funding round from an undisclosed serial entrepreneur, founder, and shareholder of multiple businesses in five different sectors, to accelerate growth and help penetrate different markets via the investors' vast network and experience.
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The funds will be used to take operations to the next level by hiring new talent to the team, as well as by making investments into its marketing throughout the UAE.
Urent is aiming to help digitize the entire vehicle rental industry in the UAE by providing a fully equipped platform that enables commercial hosts to list their vehicles via the "My Garage" section on the app, as well as set their own rules, limits, pricing, and availabilities of their fleets. Renters will then enjoy navigating via a wide range of vehicles tied to hosts, with the option of interacting with vehicle owners via the app pre-booking, as well as getting vehicles booked and delivered to their doorstep with only two clicks.
Similar to how Uber and Airbnb made trustworthiness a central part of their platforms, Urent is taking steps to encourage trust between hosts and renters. The app will have a robust rating system, much like Airbnb and Uber. In addition, there will be a vetting process to ensure there is a standard for the quality of vehicles and drivers on the platform.
This round comes after a difficult but triumphant year where CEO & Founder Omar Al Ashi (pictured above on the right, with Greg Holt, CFO, on the left) put his personal financial backing into the company in order to sustain throughout the pandemic, continue to employ his team, and drive towards his vision. The Pre-Series A funding will enable the company to enter a new era of technical development and brand promotion.
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Omar Al Ashi commented on the funding, “As a new concept in the UAE, we are just beginning to show what our platform can do. Much like Airbnb, our model will usher in a new era of vehicle sharing where guests and hosts will share a wide range of personal vehicles. We will also target large established vehicle rental companies as a core part of our business model. We can help struggling rental companies, like Hertz, to revolutionize and digitize their business through Urent’s proprietary technology. Not only can we provide the technology but also access to a new global audience of consumers.”
He continued, “The open communication between the hosts and guests as well as the two-way rating system is essential in helping to build trust on our platform. It is a proven method that we have now seen work with other large peer-sharing apps, and we are certainly leveraging that for our community. Safety and an exceptional experience are extremely important to us and our technical developments will continue to support those goals.”
Urent plans to expand its operations into Saudi Arabia in 2021. The startup's vision is to become a marketplace for all vehicles to be listed by commercial hosts for rental purposes, without having to go through the tedious experience of looking everywhere for the vehicle they desire and the price that fits them best.
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