The partnership builds on Hertz's announcement in October 2021 that the company is investing in EVs - with a commitment to offer the largest electric vehicle rental fleet in North America and to grow its EV fleet globally. Hertz also committed to providing the best rental and recharging experience for leisure and business customers around the world. Also in October, the company announced an exclusive partnership with Uber to make Tesla electric vehicles available for drivers to rent when using the Uber network.
UFODRIVE's Series A financing round was co-led by Hertz and Certares, in partnership with Knighthead Capital Management, and included participation from existing investors. Hertz Senior Vice President of Strategy, Jayesh Patel, and Venture Lead at Certares, Chantal Noble Haldorsen, will join the UFODRIVE board.
“Our partnership with UFODRIVE is yet another major step in Hertz becoming an essential component of the modern mobility ecosystem,” said Mark Fields, Hertz interim CEO. “Together, we will pilot ways to make renting an EV even easier using UFODRIVE's digital platforms for both the rental experience and fleet management. For customers, this partnership will help us create the future rental car experience that is all-digital and EV-centric.”
“Born from a vision to deliver what we call ‘Radically Better Car Rental,' this investment is a major validation of that dream,” said Aidan McClean, UFODRIVE CEO. “We are proud that we are helping to accelerate the transition to zero-emissions mobility, and our investors see the opportunity ahead.”
McClean added: “We pioneered and are now the premier operating system for electric fleets and already service a growing list of high-profile mobility companies.”
Following successful live testing in 2021, Hertz aims to deploy UFODRIVE'S market-leading digital rental and fleet management technology to enhance its global EV fleet operations. Starting with Hertz's key partners in the U.S. and Europe, this will offer a fully digital rental experience, charge point wayfinding, touchless smartphone access and online customer support with live telematics using UFODRIVE's SaaS platform.
UFODRIVE will use the additional capital to accelerate product development and to expand globally, with a focus on the U.S. market. Founded in 2018, UFODRIVE's success is based on environmentalism, superb customer experiences and an eye to what modern consumers need. The business has experienced sustained growth throughout the pandemic, opening new locations as well as adding home delivery and subscription to its existing rental operation.