More and more, the major car rental companies are in heated competition to become the leading full-service transportation provider. Enterprise Holdings has acquired Zimride, an online ride-matching service. Zimride has more than 350,000 users (drivers, passengers and partners) who have connected with each other for peer-to-peer ridesharing.
Zimride is a service of Lyft Inc. and was launched in 2007; it leverages the power of social media through an alliance with Facebook and is now active on 130 university and corporate campuses including UCLA, Harvard, University of Michigan, Facebook and the US Department of Energy. Lyft Inc. has been known for years as an industry leader in peer-to-peer transportation. Lyft will retain Zimride's assets related to smartphone-based ridesharing and peer-to-peer transportation. Enterprise acquired the business and existing customer base of Zimride on July 10; financial terms were not disclosed.
Enterprise thinks it's a great fit and another step in becoming what it calls a "total transportation solution." The company has the largest fleet of rental vehicles (1.3 million) and owns major brands like National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car. There's also Enterprise CarShare for customers choosing the carsharing experience and Enterprise Rideshare for commuters needing carpool and vanpool services.
The timing is crucial for Enterprise if it wants to play in the competitive, changing car rental landscape. Hertz has big goals for its Hertz 24/7 carsharing service and Avis acquired the largest carsharing company, Zipcar, at the beginning of the year.
Enterprise: "Perfect Complement to Our Existing Car-Sharing, Vanpooling and Car Rental Services"
ST. LOUIS (July 12, 2013) – Enterprise Holdings today announced that it is acquiring the business of Zimride, an online service that efficiently connects drivers, passengers and partners with colleges and universities to facilitate sustainable transportation-management solutions. Zimride is the largest ride-matching program in the United States with more than 350,000 users.
The acquisition closed July 10; financial terms of the transaction will not be disclosed. Zimride, which leverages the power of social media by integrating with Facebook, is active on 130 university and corporate campuses. The Zimride service was launched in 2007 by the company now known as Lyft Inc., the industry leader in peer-to-peer transportation. The Lyft team will retain all assets related to their smartphone-based ridesharing and peer-to-peer transportation community, Lyft, while also working with Enterprise to transition and expand the Zimride product offerings.
Enterprise Holdings, the most comprehensive service provider in the car rental industry, operates the flagship Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand as well as the National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands. The company also offers Enterprise CarShare – with a suite of products and policies specifically geared to the car-sharing customer experience – and Enterprise Rideshare, one the country's leading carpooling and vanpooling programs for commuters.
"This acquisition is the perfect complement to our existing car-sharing, vanpooling and car rental services," said Ryan Johnson, assistant vice president overseeing Enterprise CarShare and Rideshare operations. "With Zimride's industry-leading technology, we will be able to even further enhance our offerings and provide a total transportation solution to our partners and customers worldwide."
Lyft's President, John Zimmer, agrees. "Zimride's goal has always been to bring together the best of multiple modes of transportation to create a more social, affordable and efficient system for communities on college and corporate campuses," he noted. "We are excited to have those offerings expanded and improved through solutions offered by Enterprise."
Sustainable Transportation Since 1957
Enterprise has been delivering transportation alternatives right where people live and work since 1957, an early example of today's "collaborative consumption" trend. Forty years later, it trademarked the term Virtual Car®, after recognizing the long-term impact of such a sustainable neighborhood-based business model. Today, Enterprise currently operates almost twice as many locations as its nearest U.S. competitor, with more than 5,500 offices located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population.
"We have great respect for what Zimride has accomplished by using state-of-the-art technology to make car-pooling, vanpooling and car-sharing options even easier and more affordable for individuals and organizations," Johnson explained. "As a result, we are excited to continue serving Zimride's existing customer base and to introduce the software to the largest passenger-vehicle network in the world."
The Zimride and Enterprise sales teams will begin working together immediately. "With Enterprise's industry leadership and strength, this will mean even greater levels of customer satisfaction and rapid expansion of the Zimride footprint," Johnson stated.
Johnson also stressed that Enterprise understands what it takes to run successful, sustainable transportation operations in a highly competitive marketplace. To that end, the company frequently reaches out to organizations like the Corporate Eco Forum, the Department of Energy's Clean Cities initiative and the National League of Cities' Sustainable Cities Institute – all of whom help broaden discussions about local mobility and the transportation value chain. In addition, Enterprise CarShare and Zimride will be sponsors at the upcoming Shared Use Mobility Conference, facilitated by the Transportation Sustainability Research Center.
Enterprise also is partnering with the Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL), which recently published a special report titled, "Next Stop, Innovation: What's Ahead for Urban Mobility?" For more information about Enterprise Holdings' Corporate Sustainability Report or the company's environmental stewardship and long-term commitment to the sustainability of its business, visit www.DrivingFutures.com.
About Enterprise Holdings
Enterprise Holdings and its affiliate Enterprise Fleet Management together offer a total transportation solution. Combined, these businesses – which include extensive car rental and car-sharing services, commercial truck rental, corporate fleet management and retail car sales – accounted for $15.4 billion in revenue and operated 1.3 million vehicles throughout the world in fiscal 2012. Enterprise Holdings, through its regional subsidiaries, operates the largest fleet of vehicles in the world through a global network of more than 8,200 airport and neighborhood locations under the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands. Its affiliate, Enterprise Fleet Management, provides full-service fleet management to companies and organizations with small- to medium-sized fleets. Other transportation services marketed under the Enterprise brand name include Enterprise CarShare, Enterprise Rideshare, Enterprise Car Sales and Enterprise Commercial Trucks. Enterprise Holdings is the largest car rental company in the world as measured by revenue, fleet and employees. Enterprise Holdings' annual revenues also place it near the top of the travel industry, exceeding all other rental car companies, and most airlines, cruise lines, hotels, tour operators and online travel agencies.
About Lyft & Zimride
Lyft Inc. was founded in 2007 with Zimride as its first of two products built to create a more social, sustainable and affordable transportation system. Zimride is the largest web-based carpool network in North America. More than 350,000 users have used the Zimride platform, saving over $100 million on auto expenses. Zimride's private carpool networks have been implemented by 130 of the nation's leading organizations including UCLA, Harvard, University of Michigan, Facebook and the Department of Energy.
The second product from Lyft Inc., Lyft, is not part of this transaction. Lyft, is the latest evolution of smartphone-based ridesharing and peer-to-peer transportation. Lyft launched in June 2012 and is now live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston and San Diego. It has quickly become one of the fastest-growing tech companies with over $80 million raised from leading investors Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund. Lyft was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and The Economist.