Last week, founder of Hiya Car, Graeme Risby, sat down with Disrupt to share details about their first year of business. The company launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs last summer to raise £140,000. During the funding round, it secured £349,470.
Hiya Car is described as a platform that matches car hirers to car owners, turning idle cars into income generating assets. The company revealed:
“HiyaCar is a peer to peer car rental platform which will allow users to own their driving experience, without owning the car. The platform will allow drivers to find, review and rent cars they could or would not usually buy. It also allows owners to list and let out their cars, which may otherwise be sat on a driveway, costing money but not seeing much use. Now car owners can generate additional income on every hire.”
During their interview, Risby listed the company’s achievements:
“Created and secured a first of it’s kind insurance policy in the UK with Axa UK to underwriting our bespoke peer-to-peer car hire policy. Secured the AA as our roadside assistance partners. Managed to raise investment in just 5 days via Seedrs with 244 people investing a total of £300,940. Participated in the government’s review into the sharing economy and HiyaCar are active members of Sharing Economy UK and UkShare.co. About 90% of our way to changing the tax laws within the UK by creating a tax allowance for people when sharing their car.”
Graeme also explained Hiya Car’s challenges:
“Insurance! This was a huge barrier to entry and with the help of AON (global insurance broker,) 12 months of hard work and lots of persistence, we managed to secure our policy with Axa. Our policy covers both car owners and car hirers and supersedes the car owner’s personal policy when hiring out their car.”
“Only one homes to mind which was a lack of real research into our users in Milton Keynes at the beginning of our journey, for example, we were looking to launch in Milton Keynes as the council and campus really seemed to embrace HiyaCar, but when we started to onboard members it was clear that the people of MK didn’t seem as keen as the council were unfortunately.”
In regards to any advice, Graeme added:
“Be persistent, laser focussed and go with your gut instincts, 9/10 they are right! My other piece of advice is only start up your own business if you are genuinely passionate about your company subject and only if you would personally use your service / product to improve your own life. This passion will help you carry on when the chips are down as it’s extremely hard work, if it was easy everybody would be doing it!”
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