Splend chief executive Chris King, who has so far self-funded the venture, told Australian Financial Review that he would use the investment to improve the company’s cash flow, roll out new vehicles and launch a new app for its members.
While he didn’t comment on the specifics of the deal, it is clear that that Investec now has a 10.7% equity take in Splend through placement of new shares.
Launched in 2016, Splend has 1300 Uber vehicles operating in most Australian capital cities with the goal on having “multi-thousands” on the road by the end of the year. The company also provides car and insurance to Uber drivers at $269 a week.
King told AFR King that “Splend provides Uber drivers with “everything except the fuel and tolls”. This includes he vehicle, registration, third party insurance, maintenance and accident management
“The car is just the entry point. We’re providing the product at the price that is equal to or cheaper than if the members try to do it themselves,” he said.
The automotive start-up provides a valuable service for people looking to get in on the Uber action. They distinguish themselves from most third party hire companies by simplifying the process for drivers so they don’t have to co-ordinate insurance and a car independently.
Their recent success has also got them thinking about global expansion.
“We’re going to be focusing full steam ahead domestically, but we also have the opportunity to expand into New Zealand and we’ve done significant market research. We are also in discussions with global businesses that want to bring our model to North America and the United Kingdom,” King said.