Kenyan startup Zuru has launched its vehicle-sharing app that allows car owners to rent out their cars without using an agent.
Zuru Car Rental enables car owners to upload images and descriptions of their car, and set a rental price, with users able to book and pay for the rentals through the app’s secure M-Pesa-based escrow service.
The company’s chief executive officer (CEO) Rawlings Otini said the startup was aiming to increase transparency within the car rental industry by applying an Airbnb model, additional security features, and insurance.
“Currently, there is a lack of order and credibility in the industry. There are con-men posting cars online and asking customers for deposits, after which they switch off their phones. We want to end that,” said
The company started as a car hire agency linking car owners to clients, but decided to automate the process in order to easily scale the service to remote areas. It has already signed up a number of car hire companies that are using the app to list their vehicles, and is active in Nairobi and Mombasa. Otini said a Kisumu launch was imminent.