Our special series about tech businesses founded in 2020 highlights tales of resilience, remote relationships and pivoting. No.6: Karshare
Bristol-based Karshare enables people to make money by renting out their cars, using keyless technology that enables owners and renters to be contact-free.
Andy Hibbert was running Car and Away, which allows travellers from Gatwick and Bristol airports to rent out their vehicles while on holiday.
When travel stopped, he decided to do something to assist key workers in the Bristol area.
He established a fleet of 700 cars, on loan from members of the local community, which were used by health workers, care workers, charity workers, food bank and NHS volunteers, absolutely free of charge.
He took care of the cleaning, insurance and breakdown cover costs to enable key frontline workers and charities to still operate during the lockdown.
From this, Karshare was born, after Hibbert noticed the “real groundswell of people who have cars that are willing to share them and people who don’t have cars but would like one occasionally”.
Cars in the scheme are fitted with a piece of tech that transforms them into a keyless vehicle and users find a suitable car for their journey on the Karshare platform.
“Cars in general are sat idle for 96 per cent of the time and more people are being told to work from home,” says Hibbert, adding that the system will be rolled out to four more cities in 2021.
“There are 32m cars own privately in the UK but we could build a more sustainable future by sharing.”