Thinking Tech

Zipcar goes public, plans for expansion

Zipcar goes public, plans for expansion

Posting in Cities

Zipcar, the car-sharing service, filed for $75 million IPO yesterday and announced plans for greater expansion.

Zipcar, the auto rental company that describes itself as a "car-sharing" service, filed for an initial public offering (IPO) yesterday. The IPO is estimated at $75 million.

Zipcar is established primarily in urban areas--users pay a yearly fee and can then rent cars by the hour for a fairly low price (usually between $7 and $15). Those cars are found throughout a given city instead of at a centralized location, and Zipcar's garage consists primarily of desirable cars like the Toyota Prius and Mini Cooper.

The service has found significant success among city-dwellers, college students, and others who have no need for a full-time car. Zipcar has expanded rapidly, acquiring competitors StreetCar and FlexCar as well as moving into new territory.

Though Zipcar has not yet shown a profit, that's largely due to its rapid expansion. This IPO proposal seems to be in that same line--Zipcar is trying to get its infrastructure in place, expand to over 100 markets around the world, and the profits will come later.

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Dan Nosowitz

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Dan Nosowitz has written for Popular Science, Fast Company and Gizmodo. He holds a degree from McGill University in Canada. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure