Finance · 11 May 2018

249% funded: hiyacar CEO reveals the secrets to a successful crowdfunding campaign

hiyacar allows car owners to rent out their vehicle to approved drivers
With his company’s third crowdfunding campaign recently hitting 249 per cent of its 500, 000 target, hiyacar co-founder Graeme Risby is becoming somewhat of a veteran in the fundraising space.

The peer-to-peer car sharing app, billed as Airbnb for cars, has scaled to bring over 1, 600 on-demand vehicles to London in just two years, and the development of a new keyless QuickStart technology has seen booking conversions double since November 2017.

Risby and co-founder Rob Larmour turned to crowdfunding once again to fund the roll-out of QuickStart technology and grow the startup’s community through marketing.

Business Advice caught up with Risby to hear about his experiences with the crowd and find out if there are any secrets to a successful crowdfunding campaign.

  1. How did hiyacar start?

hiyacar is a peer-to-peer car sharing app that myself and Rob Larmour begun working on in 2014. I have always beena bit of a car-fiend and at the time, working in the City I knew that there were lots of people who needed access to a car in London but didnt need to own one. Ive always been conscious that your car is your most expensive liability and I wanted to change this by turning my car into an asset.

With the help of ecommerce expert (and friend Rob Larmour), we realised that the obstacle to unlocking the value in people’s cars was simple: an insurance policy that allows owners to make money and covers their car when on hiya.

We then set about solving the key handover? issue which was that people wanted to hire a car on-demand but although the cars were not being used, the owners were not available to handover the key as they were at work etc. This is where the idea for QuickStart was born.

We completed our first hiya and hired our first employee in 2016 and since then have watched hiyacar evolve into a friendly, living community and a team of 17 amazingly driven people.

  1. Why did you choose to crowdfund?

Having done crowdfunding before, we were familiar with the opportunities and therefore had clear goals and crafted a well-defined strategy to achieve them. Our primary goal was to be able to enable our community to invest in hiyacar, especially as investors are great users and ambassadors.

Secondly, we wanted to achieve marketing and PR benefits. Thirdly, we wanted to use the platform to efficiently gather the funds from other investors that werealready engaged.



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hiyacar offers a smarter, more environmentally friendly way for people in Britain to hire the 10 million cars rented here every year.


  1. Have you crowdfunded before?



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.