Сar rental marketplace development is becoming more and more widespread. We can see a lot of competitive products on the market with different concepts, missions, and goals.
Recently, we have talked about how to develop car rental MVP, evaluate your business idea, and choose the right features.
However, we need to demonstrate you real-life examples. Interviews with successful entrepreneurs in the industry are just the thing.
I got lucky to exchange a few words with Maximiliano Casal, the founder of car rental marketplace Croway, that has recently launched on the Uruguay market. It`s a great example of a product, that aims at changing and improving local car rental industry first and then expanding into new geographical areas.
From this interview, you will learn about the concept and value of Croway, challenges in car rental industry, and useful tips on how to solve them.
Thank you, Max, for an informative interview!
Max, please tell us how did your team come up with an idea to create car rental Marketplace?
It all started with the entrepreneurship course in 2016, where I met Gonzalo García, the other co-founder of Croway. Gonzalo has been working in car rental industry for more than 10 years. He realized that something needs to be changed in the car rental system in Latin America, that has been at a stop for a long time.
Gonzalo told me that there were some platforms around the world that work like Airbnb for cars. That’s when I became a part of this idea. Together with the support of an accelerator, we defined the idea to start working. We`ve found out, that there is a huge opportunity in Latin America to build something successful that could be a game changer in the the car rental industry.
Let's get back to the times when you’ve just entered the market. How have you built a community around your platform, and what was the business model for attracting both car renters and сar owners?
When we have just launched, some newspaper took interest in us. They've published a couple of news and everything went crazy since then. In less than a week, we appeared in news in almost all the Latin American countries. This was the start of Croway’s community. After that, we continued our growth in social networks.
What advice would you give to car rental startups, that have reached an MVP and want to scale their business? How can they do it?
It`s very important to have not only an MVP before launching, but also some key partners that will help you to scale. In our case, we have insurances, mechanical assistance, and other things covered. Without that, you are just a platform where people register their cars without any warranties.
What are the main techniques you use to promote your platform?
We extensively use social networks and AdWords. The other thing that helps us to grow is the power of word-of-mouth. When a customer has an amazing experience, he or she shares it with their friends, who also register and grow our user base.
What about security? How do you build trust among your users?
The best way to make your users & customers trust you is to offer warranties. For example, our cars are tested by mechanics to prevent any issues during the rent. In such a way, we convince our users that the car they rent will operate without a hitch.
As for the owners, we focus on offering them all the warranties, as they have to register their own car. We offer a full coverage insurance and mechanical assistance, which gives them more confidence in Croway.
Tell us, please, what are the new trends in supply and demand in car rental industry?
Many things have changed in car rental industry in the last years. Nowadays customers expect to have more than just a car. For example, it’s almost impossible to rent a car in big cities without GPS. Also, customers would like to have some extra things like WiFi in the car & recommended tours or places to visit. Of course, customers also expect to have mobile apps besides the web platform.
What are the biggest challenges car rental marketplaces face these days and how to overcome them?
The biggest challenge of car rental marketplaces is to convince customers to rent a car on their own platform instead of using a traditional system. Many people have already got used to the old system and find it difficult to try something new.
What technologies is your marketplace built with? Why did you come up with this choice?
First, we have built only the website. However, once we`ve launched, the customers requested to have a mobile application, so we’ve developed iOS and Android apps.
How do you plan to grow your platform technologically?
One of the plans in our backlog is to make a research and include smart devices that could open the cars remotely & track the usage and important information.
Max, what are the new peaks Сroway wants to conquer? How do you see it in future?
I see Croway established in more than 8 countries in Latin America. We are going to expand to Brazil & Costa Rica this year. After that, we will start to scale in Colombia, Mexico or Argentina. At the moment, Croway has an opened seed round, so all the interested investors can contact me to get more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope that you`ve derived a benefit from this interview. One of the most important takeaways is to listen to your users and always look for the ways to scale your car rental marketplace.
Do you like the interview or maybe have some questions? Let us know in the comments below!