Streetcar

  • Sector: Automotive / consumer
  • First Invested: March 2007
  • Total Invested: £8.8M
  • Status: Exited

Streetcar was one of the early entrants into the UK car sharing market. Through an unwavering focus on customer service they became the early UK market leader. At the end of 2006, the company had established a network of around 200 vehicles and 10,000 members around London. We invested in early 2007.

The challenge for Streetcar was to translate its outstanding brand and early market leadership position in London into strong revenue growth and profitability. This involved a planned roll further across London and in to other UK locations.

Together with the management we appointed Sir Trevor Chinn as Chairman.

Sir Trevor (previously CEO and Chairman of Lex Vehicle Leasing, Chairman of the RAC, Chairman of Kwik-Fit and Chairman of the Motorist’s Forum) brought invaluable expertise and networks in the transport industry. Sir Trevor is also currently Chairman of Tusker, and was Chairman of ITIS, a previous Smedvig Capital investment.

We provided extensive research and analytic support to the Streetcar management; helping to assess the attractiveness of new London boroughs, new UK cities and international markets. We also worked with the founders to develop the best pricing model. Using primary research of members and non-members and detailed statistical analysis we were able to accurately forecast the impact of different pricing levers on member behaviour. Following the introduction of a new pricing scheme profits per member increased 70% with no material impact on member sign-ups or usage.

From 2007-2009, Streetcar successfully entered seven new UK markets and added over eight hundred new locations to its London network. The business grew from 10,000 to over 70,000 members and revenues grew from £1m in 2006 to an annual run rate of over £20m in Q1 2010.

World class customer service and member advocacy was a key part of Streetcar’s early success. They maintained customer satisfaction at consistently over 90%, and member referrals remained the largest source of customer growth.

Streetcar was acquired by global market leader Zipcar in April 2010 for a mixture of cash and shares. We managed the exit process from negotiation to completion on behalf of all the Streetcar shareholders. The combined company floated on the NASDAQ in April 2011 with a market capitalisation of $700M.