Interview with Streetcar co-founder Andrew Valentine

Operating in London, Brighton and Southampton, car share company Streetcar has 10,000 members. It will soon expand its geographical coverage and anticipates membership to rise to 150,000 by 2012. We catch up with co-founder Andrew Valentine.


Operating in London, Brighton and Southampton, car share company Streetcar has 10,000 members. It will soon expand its geographical coverage and anticipates membership to rise to 150,000 by 2012. We catch up with co-founder Andrew Valentine.

Operating in London, Brighton and Southampton, car share company Streetcar has 10,000 members. It will soon expand its geographical coverage and anticipates membership to rise to 150,000 by 2012. We catch up with co-founder Andrew Valentine.

What is Streetcar?
We have over 250 cars parked in streets around the UK. Members can book online, go and find one, use it and return it when they’re finished.

Where did the idea come from?
It was a structured process as we researched hundreds of business ideas. Then we stumbled across a similar business while working overseas.

How did you know it would work?

Friends and family helped. After buying lots of cheap red wine and some pizza, we worked through the idea and got an extremely positive response about the environmental benefits and convenience for people who don’t already own cars.

What about funding?

My partner and I funded the start-up costs, but we needed some cars pretty quickly so we arranged some lease agreements and secured banking and asset finance. We recently received £6.4 million funding from a London-based private equity group.

Any tips for fellow entrepreneurs?

My partner [Brett Akker] jokes that with hindsight he would have chosen to work with someone else. If you are going to go into partnership with someone else, you need to be very careful that you can work comfortably and work well with them before you commit. We’re very lucky in that we play to each other’s strengths.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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