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

Safeguarding Your Business with Brokers

While the high-profile bankruptcy of Atlas Choice has left many car rental companies wary of working with brokers, rental companies can take steps to protect themselves and ensure a productive relationship.

My Number One Takeaway from ICRS 2017

This year’s International Car Rental Show (ICRS) opened the door to new business models facing transportation today — yet adapting to these new technologies is not the first key to survival.

Trump and Regulations: An Alt-Fuel View

With 2025 emissions targets back in review, manufacturers, alt-fuel, and alt-power suppliers weigh in on the potential impacts of Trump’s initiatives.

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.