Singapore based Drive lah raises US$3.2mil led by KFC Ventures
By Digital News Asia July 22, 2021
- Since 2019 launch has acquired over 150k users, grown 10x, acquired Smove
- Founders have proved to master operations, tech & customer service needed
Drive lah, a shared mobility startup based in Singapore, has raised US$3.2 million (RM13.5 million) in a pre-series A round, led by KFC Ventures. HH Investments VC and Accelerating Asia are among the investors that participated in the round in addition to angel investors from home and abroad including industry expert and entrepreneur Robin Chase, cofounder and former CEO of Zipcar, and author of Peers Inc.
Drive lah is like an Airbnb for cars – it brings together people who want to rent a car with owners that want to earn from their car when it is idle. Demand for flexible mobility is on the rise because owning a car in cities makes less sense due to increasing cost of ownership and increasing parking constraints. Millennials get this and are the primary driver of the shift from ownership to usership.
“We started our journey in 2019 in Singapore, have more than 150,000 registered users on the platform, we have grown 10x since the first investors came on board late 2019 and acquired Smove – a fleet-based car sharing in Singapore last year,” said Gaurav Singhal (pic, left), cofounder of Drive lah who adds, “The future looks exciting – the mobility market in Asia Pacific is huge and waiting to be disrupted. We recently launched in Australia and expect to expand further in the next 12 months. This is our first step in building a shared mobility ecosystem.”
Naveen Kumar, Managing Director of KFC Ventures says, “I strongly believe in the founders’ vision and their ability to make it happen. We see this as a strategic investment given our strengths in technology and data. There are tremendous synergies that we plan to leverage to realise this vision.”
Sharing her reasons of backing Drive lah, Robin explains, “Cities are responding to climate, congestion, and liveability concerns by providing high quality transit, encouraging walking and biking, and making daily urban car use less convenient. Together, these actions all lead to dramatically increasing the number of households who want to rent but not own a car. Drive lah fills this need for occasional on demand car use, and it has proved to master the operations, technology, and customer service needed to build a thriving business in Singapore. This gives me confidence that they will be able to make the complex business of peer to peer carsharing work in Asia.”
When asked what makes Drive lah different, cofounder Dirk-Jan ter Horst (pic above, right) said that its collaborative business model is the solution to improving mobility for more people whilst reducing the number of cars on the road. “Cars are idle 95% of the time, so for owners it makes sense to put this asset to use. Renters get unlimited access to nearby cars without the cost of owning one. Our proprietary in-car technology enables keyless access through your phone, and this makes it extremely convenient and safe for users. Moreover, it is 30-40% cheaper than anywhere else.”
Drive lah recently completed VC accelerator, Accelerating Asia’s, flagship program. “The Drive lah team went from strength to strength during the 100-day program and are led by solid founders in Dirk-Jan and Gaurav. We’re excited to see what’s next for the team and look forward to supporting Drive lah’s journey to becoming a global leader in shared mobility,” Accelerating Asia cofounder and General Partner Craig Bristol Dixon said.