Car rental challenger firm set to expand into Europe after £534k investment

John Charnock
X The Business Desk

Register for free to receive latest news stories direct to your inbox

Register

A Manchester challenger in the online car rental market has raised £534,000 in a funding round led by Daresbury-based DSW Ventures, and including angel investor Harry Dixon, former technical director at Rentalcars.com.

Stressfreecarrental.com operates a price comparison and booking platform for car hire and airport transfers.

It aims to bring a fresh approach to product, service and technology and offer lower prices, improved transparency and better customer experience.

Stressfreecarrental.com already operates in the UK, South Africa, Australia and the US.

The investment will allow it to expand its team with the creation of 13 jobs in the next 12 months, extend its reach into Europe and accelerate growth.

The company was launched in 2020 by entrepreneurs John Charnock, David Mathews and Rory Powers, a proven team who together grew and exited their last venture, Inventive IT, a booking platform focused on the airport services market.

As part of the investment, travel industry veteran James Jennings joins as chairman while Tom Knopek, who has had a 30-year career in the car rental industry, has been appointed as non-executive director.

Founder and CEO, John Charnock, said: “We built great foundations for the business last year and this year we’ve seen significant growth in our revenues, despite the ongoing pandemic.

“This investment will enable us to take the business to the next level by extending our reach into foreign language domestic markets, offering clear and transparent car rental in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany and Greece.”

Stressfreecarrental.com is the eighth company to join DSW Ventures’ portfolio, which includes other online consumer brands such as One Utility Bill and ACAI Outdoorwear.

Ellie Boardman, investment manager at DSW Ventures, said: “The online car rental market is ripe for disruption.

“Stressfreecarrental.com offers a fresh approach and we believe it is well placed to achieve significant scale.

“The business has already gained considerable traction, despite restrictions on travel, and this round will support its further development and growth.”

Close