Once upon a time, I had a truck. I loved this truck! I didn’t actually use the truck as a truck all this often, so eventually I sold it and bought something more in line with my daily needs. Something more “practical”, I suppose. I still miss that truck.
Now the few times a year I do need to use a truck as a truck, I have to convince a buddy to let me borrow his for the 34th time or try to find a rental at the big box hardware store. Hope there’s one by the time I get there, line up, fill out the paperwork, run to my car cause I forgot my insurance card, get back in line, yadda yadda .
fetch, a company we first talked about a few years ago, makes the process a little easier: find a truck (or van!) nearby, book it through the app, walk up and unlock it. from your phone, and continue on your way. This week, the team announces that it has raised $3.5 million to help expand its team and operations. For Fetch to happen, you might say.
Fetch is operational in a handful of cities at the moment, but that list is starting to grow quickly. They first rolled things out in their hometown of Atlanta, recently expanding operations to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Dallas and Washington, D.C. Fetch co-founder Adam Steinberg told me they plan to be in “12 more cities” by the end of this year.
The company’s business model has also grown considerably since we last wrote. Previously, all trucks available on Fetch were owned by Fetch; these days it’s a market where anyone with an available truck (whether it’s businesses with fleets or individuals with a spare vehicle, as long as it may be available for hire seven days a week) can rent it.
Once on board, truck owners plug in Fetch’s hardware to allow approved renters to unlock the vehicle and move on. Renters must have their own insurance, although Fetch also provides secondary insurance to help supplement these policies.
Rental prices vary a bit depending on what you are looking for – the size of the vehicle, the number of miles you will be driving and, as the trucks can be hired by the hour or day, how long you will be driving it. will need. For example, a 6′ pickup in Atlanta is currently on site for $19 per hour, or $70 per day with 50 miles included.
Why build something like this when other on-demand car rental services exist? It all depends on the target audience. It would be kind of weird to hop on a vacation car rental app when you just want something to move a thousand pounds of wood, or get that old desk out of the office. “Our ideal client is a small business owner,” says Steinberg. “Caterers, event planners, small businesses that need trucks on a recurring basis.”
Steinberg tells me the company has also “achieved profitability per lease” and now has “hundreds of trucks live on the market” — with about half of their vehicles currently in the Atlanta area. They also have in partnership with Home Depot to power the retailer’s rental process in certain areas.
The next step ? Develop the team. The company is currently made up of 12 people, and plans to double that number in the next three months or so.
This round was led by NextView Ventures and backed by Knoll Ventures, Zeno Ventures, Nassau Street Ventures and a number of angels.