Private Equity Firm Invests in CarTrawler

ECI Partners ("ECI"), the UK mid-market private equity firm, has invested in CarTrawler, the Dublin-based market leading provider of online car rental distribution systems. In addition, Mike McGearty, theformer COO of CarTrawler, has been announced as the new Chief Executive who will lead the next stage of the business's development. Bobby Healy will continue as the company's CTO and Niall Turley will remain Director of Supply. The funding from ECI will be used to support the continued growth of CarTrawler organically and through acquisition and Chris Watt, Director at ECI, will join the board. Richard Prosser will join the board as Chairman having formerly served as Managing Director of the Specialist and Emerging Markets division of TUI Travel Plc, the world's leading leisure travel business.

CarTrawler uses award-winning technology to link consumers with car rental suppliers directly and through third-party websites. The business model provides a win-win-win for consumers, distribution partners and car rental suppliers. CarTrawler's platform enables consumers to obtain real-time car rental prices and availability from over 550 car rental suppliers globally; enables distribution partners (e.g. airlines, online travel agents) to improve customer conversion and drive revenues and provides suppliers with global distribution. CarTrawler distributes car rental from 28,000 city and airport locations across 175 countries. It operates in 29 languages, providing quotes in 49 currencies.

CarTrawler was founded in 2004 by Greg and Niall Turley in Dublin, who will retain non-executive Director and executive Director roles respectively in the business and remain as significant investors.

The ECI investment will provide resources for CarTrawler to continue its aggressive expansion plans. The company currently employs 90 people, mainly based in Dublin, Ireland with an overseas office in Seattle, USA. The Seattle office is led by Mike Flory, CEO of CarTrawler Americas, formerly VP of Expedia's North American Car Rental business. From inception, CarTrawler has delivered a consistently strong performance with an average year on year growth of 60% during the last four years.

In 2010 the total global car hire market was estimated to be worth around �33 billion. ECI expects CarTrawler to continue to increase its market share going forward, as a consequence of the continued growth in online travel, the increasing importance of ancillary revenues to travel companies, as well as tapping into fast-growing emerging markets such as Asia and Latin America where online travel bookings continue to show strong growth.

This is ECI's third deal in three months (including investments in Reed & Mackay and Fourth Hospitality).

Comment On This Story

Comment: (Max. 10000 characters)  
Please leave blank:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


Newsletter: Sign up to receive latest news, articles, and much more.

Read the latest

Auto Focus Blog: A blog covering fleets, auto rental and the business of cars

Understanding The Fleetification of Everything

As fleet miles increase exponentially, and as new stratum of fleet enter both consumer and business use cases, the "founding fathers" who gathered at Fleet Forward in Miami last week have some work to do.

The Problem with Valuing Safety Technology

As advanced safety technologies have migrated to mainstream vehicles, retaining value for these options at resale remains an issue.

ELD Mandate: Is Your Head Still in the Sand?

If you think you have 11 weeks to implement an Electronic Logging Device system to meet the Dec. 18 compliance deadline, you really don’t — for a few reasons.

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.