PSA Peugeot Citroën has invested peer-to-peer (P2P) carsharing start-up Koolicar, becoming a shareholder alongside MAIF, Koolicar’s historic partner since 2010. The transaction represents a total amount of EUR18m, PSA said.

Its completion is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions, including, if necessary, the approval of the relevant anti-trust authorities.

Now present in around 40 French cities, with over 60,000 registered users, Koolicar started up its peer-to-peer carsharing operations back in 2012.

PSA says that Koolicar stands out as a  “high-potential start-up, offering unique and innovative technology for peer-to-peer car rental in Europe”. Based on a connected box that can be fitted on any type of vehicle – enabling keyless transactions, calculation of mileage and lease duration, and geolocation – it makes carsharing easy, PSA maintains.

PSA said in a statement that the investment means the French start-up will be able to step up its strategic growth plan and obtain the means to equip up to 30,000 cars with its technology, thereby “becoming a global player in the carsharing market”. In addition, its team will also be expanded from 30 to 100 employees in Paris and Montreal, with new positions to be created in IT, marketing and customer service.

Commenting on the new agreement, Brigitte Courtehoux, PSA Peugeot Citroën’s Senior Vice-President, Connected Services and Mobility said: “Our acquisition of a stake in Koolicar is another step forward in our strategy as a mobility services operator. We want to operate right alongside our customers to provide them with the best mobility solutions.”

Stéphane Savouré, the founder of Koolicar said: “In a few short years, France has emerged as the global leader of the sharing economy. We are at the heart of this transformation and we are proud to have our growth supported by two major French groups which, apart from their financial support, will be providing us with market access, as well as technical and manufacturing expertise.”

Pascal Demurger, Managing Director of MAIF said: “MAIF Avenir, our dedicated innovation, digital and collaborative economy fund, made Koolicar its first investment back in 2014. The start-up has developed a technology that facilitates the peer-to-peer carsharing experience and today offers a genuine, close-to-the customer service of very high quality. We are proud to be supporting its growth and opening this new chapter alongside a manufacturer like PSA Peugeot Citroën. This new step forward attests to both the boldness and the relevance of our strategy in the collaborative economy.”