HiyaCar is building a platform to make it simple for vehicle owners to generate revenue from their idle, underused cars.

HiyaCar aims to disrupt the $60 billion car hire industry with their peer-to-peer car rental platform that allows vehicle owners to list and rent out their cars which may otherwise be sat on a driveway costing money. It also allows potential drivers to find, review and rent cars they could, or would, not usually buy. We asked founders, Rob Larmour and Graeme Risby, why they looked to the crowds to raise £300,000 for their early-stage startup.

HiyaCar approached Seedrs as an idea-stage startup. Businesses at this stage often find it difficult to obtain a business loan because they don’t yet have the required financial track-record, and they tend to be too high-risk for many traditional offline angel investors because they’ve not yet developed a product-market fit or reached other milestones. Equity crowdfunding, however, can be the perfect resource for these early-stage businesses to raise investment.

The HiyaCar team chose Seedrs because of the service and support offered by the investment, legal and marketing teams. “One thing we really liked was that Seedrs has a reputation for looking after investors, but not at the expense of entrepreneurs. Taking care of our stakeholders is hugely important for HiyaCar, so that was a big plus.”

The marketing of a crowdfunding campaign is extremely important, and planning online and offline activities before the campaign goes live is essential. HiyaCar used a variety of channels in order to promote the campaign, “We approached our family and friends to achieve some early investments. Once the campaign was live we used social media and email to promote the round, as well as pitching to investors at external events to increase exposure.”

With the campaign overfunding by 215%, it’s safe to say that their promotion strategy worked. Not only did the campaign generate funds for the business, it also built relationships with experienced advisors, “Every single investor is important to us. One of our early angel investors is now fully ingrained with what we do as a company and is very involved in growing our business.”

Rob and Graeme ran an extremely effective campaign, and when asked which one piece of advice they would give to entrepreneurs who are considering the platform they said “ensure that you have a number of investors lined up before the campaign begins, we aimed for between 30% and 40% ready to go. This shows members of Seedrs and potential investors who come across your campaign that there is interest in this business and that it is worth taking a look at.”

So what next for HiyaCar? “Our main goal is to get to market and operating in three to four areas before we look at scaling up and looking at a series A investment round.” To keep up-to-date with their progress and book your own HiyaCar nearest you, visit hiyacar.co.uk.