Despite growing pains, peer to peer car sharing is hot for investors

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Eric Castle:

Honestly, is there really a market for this?

Originally posted on Gigaom:

What do Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, celebrity Ashton Kutcher and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt all have in common? Their funds have all put money into a round for a startup called Getaround, which enables users to share their personal cars with other users.

The emerging sector is called a variety of things like peer to peer car sharing, car sharing 2.o, or neighborhood car sharing, and there’s a half dozen companies who have emerged to try to develop businesses based on this idea. Despite that the market is so new, and the hurdles are somewhat high, many of the companies in this sector have very high profile investors.

Relay Rides, another of these companies, raised money from the venture arms of Google and auto giant GM, as well as August Capital. Wheelz, another competitor, has raised money from traditional car sharing company Zipcar. Clearly forward-focused investors are intrigued with…

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