Edinburgh tech firm behind innovative vehicle rental platform secures £1.4m injection

An Edinburgh-based tech start-up behind an “all-in-one” vehicle rental management platform has secured seven-figure funding.

Coastr has developed a cloud-based platform that enables independent vehicle rental businesses to become “fully digitised” and compete with the major market players.

The firm’s software uses artificial intelligence (AI) and connected vehicle technologies to deliver innovations such as keyless entry, remote vehicle immobilisation and real-time usage monitoring to control fleets.

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The company, formerly known as Nuvven, already white labels its software so that rental companies can accept bookings under their own brand name.

Biswajit Kundu Roy, CEO and founder of Edinburgh-headquartered Coastr. Picture: Stewart Attwood
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The team plans to launch additional products into the market in 2022 such as on-demand fleet insurance and integrated vehicle financing.

Bosses have secured a £1.4 million injection through London-based investment platform GroVentive to fuel the firm’s expansion plans.

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Coastr already has partnerships in place with Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) and existing customers include UK van rental company Herd Hire Group. Industry partners include Stripe, Sage, and Elavon.

The capital firm was founded by former technology strategist at PwC, Biswajit Kundu Roy in 2018. The University of Strathclyde graduate has also previously held senior tech roles at Royal Bank of Scotland.

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He said: “Our vision is to enable vehicle hire operators and help the end customer cut through queues and paperwork to avail a seamless rental experience that is suited for the 21st century.

“We are empowering vehicle hire operators by helping them transform their businesses. At the same time, our goal is to help them become more competitive and switch to more sustainable business models.”

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Headquartered in Edinburgh, Coastr opened a second office, in Bangalore, India, earlier this year where it plans to grow its operational and technology teams.

Over the last 12 months, the company has experienced a fivefold increase in its customer base while almost doubling headcount to 35 people. Its technology is also being trialled outside Europe.

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Bruno Pannetier, chief investment officer at GroVentive, said: “We are excited to have provided such significant investment into an extremely exciting business and we are looking forward to supporting Biswajit and his team on their high-growth plans over the next few years.”

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