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Car rental tech firm raises £1.4m for new products

Vision: Biswajit Kundu Roy

Scottish technology start-up Coastr, which enables car hire firms to become fully digitised, has secured £1.4million through London-based investment platform GroVentive to develop new products.

Coastr operates a cloud-based “all-in-one” vehicle rental management platform to deliver innovations such as keyless entry, remote vehicle immobilisation, and real-time monitoring to enable complete control over fleets. 

The Edinburgh-based company plans to launch additional products into the market in 2022 such as on-demand fleet insurance, integrated vehicle financing and connectivity to market aggregators and booking platforms.

It has partnerships in place with Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) and existing customers include UK van rental company Herd Hire Group.  Industry partners include Stripe, Sage, and Elavon.  The company also plans to launch its own branded mobility services platform, working with rental partners to utilise networks and spare capacity.

Coastr was founded by former PwC technology strategist Biswajit Kundu Roy in 2018.  Mr Roy is a University of Strathclyde graduate who has held senior tech roles at Royal Bank of Scotland.

He started the company to “reimagine the car rental sector using technological innovation” having experienced “long queues and frustrating vehicle hire moments”. 

“Our vision is to enable vehicle hire operators and help the end customer cut through queues and paperwork to avail a seamless rental experience that is suited for the 21st century,” he said.

While Coastr is targeting the UK and Europe over the next two years, its technology is also being trialled outside Europe.

It opened a second office in Bangalore, India, earlier this year where it plans to grow its operational and technology teams.  Over the last twelve months, the company has experienced a fivefold increase in its customer base while doubling headcount to 35.

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