START is a peer-to-peer car rental platform born out of the burgeoning “sharing economy”. It was founded in 2013 by four entrepreneurs who developed a car sharing mobile app while studying in Singapore, with the intention to help car owners rent out their cars when they are not in use to earn additional income and enable other drivers to rent these cars in locations near them at a low cost. Using a form of keyless entry technology that the team developed, the whole rental process, including payment is digitized.
In the same year, Start made its foray into Beijing after eyeing the market’s potential and has since expanded its presence to other parts of China. It also rebranded into a premium car sharing platform connecting car lovers and premium car owners, enabling the latter group of customers to rent premium cars over a longer term.