Including the recent opening of another new location in Long Beach, California, Kyte now operates in eleven cities across the US. Last month, Kyte landed a $30 million Series A funding round led by Park West Asset Management and Sterling Road. This infusion of cash was part of what enabled these market expansions.
Co-founder Nikolaus Volk told Refresh Miami that Kyte’s goal is to make renting a car “as easy as getting an Uber or getting food delivered on DoorDash.” Users can swap long lines at rental car counters with a few swipes in Kyte’s app. Customers choose a date and time for their car to be delivered and one of Kyte’s “surfers” (drivers) will show up with their rental ride. According to Volk, gig workers like “surfing” for Kyte because they are provided with a schedule, giving them a clear picture of what they’re going to earn in advance.
Kyte is able to provide cars at a fraction of the cost of traditional rental companies because of the startup’s comparatively low overhead, explained Volk. “We don’t have any physical branches, or prime real estate at tourist locations like hotels and at the airport.” While users can theoretically rent a car to pick them up directly at the airport, Volk said that many customers prefer to take a taxi to their hotel and then have a car delivered there once they get settled.
A quick search by Refresh Miami showed the service is currently priced at roughly half the cost of a typical rental car. The service will be available all around Miami, including the typical tourist destinations: Brickell, Wynwood, Downtown, Coral Gables, and South Beach.
Volk said that opening its (car) doors in Miami made sense for a few reasons. There is a high volume of tourists in a region that’s complementary to other markets, since sunny South Florida is busiest when many other parts of the US are knee-deep in snow. Additionally, Miami’s high population density makes it fertile ground for alternative mobility platforms like Kyte.
More broadly, Volk signaled an interest in Miami as an emerging international hub for innovation: “We don’t have an office yet in Miami, but I think it’s just a matter of time.” He cited Mayor Francis Suarez’s leadership and the “high caliber talent” in our region. Volk said that Kyte “wants to play a role” in Miami’s vibrant tech ecosystem, so it made sense for the startup to get their name out in the community through this expansion.
Increasing its presence in Miami also provides Kyte with a foothold in the Latin American market. Volk revealed that the company will expand into Canada, its first international location, next year. After that, the company has their sights set on either Latin America or Europe.
Alongside Volk are co-founders Ludwig Schoenack and Francesco Wiedemann, all of whom hail from Germany. They were united by the shared mission of giving people the benefits of cars without having to own one. Before Kyte, Volk worked as an engineer at Uber; the other co-founders worked at BMW and McKinsey. Their 65-person team is based all around the US.
Kyte is offering a 15 percent discount for first-time customers in Miami using promo code “MIAMI15” at checkout on drivekyte.com (valid until 11/31).
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