In the future, an eco-friendly rental car will be at your doorstep

Electric car-sharing network Envoy lets apartment complexes and business offices offer on-demand transportation

While they were working on a student housing development nearly a decade ago, Aric Ohana and Ori Sagie stumbled upon an idea. What if they could reduce car ownership and reliance on the old-fashioned internal combustion engine by giving people access to transportation where they lived, worked, and played?

With a combined 30 years in real estate, the entrepreneurs saw that apartments and other rental properties weren’t offering onsite vehicle rentals to help their tenants who didn’t necessarily want to own their own car.

“We looked out at the marketplace, and anybody who was in the industry was looking at it from the lens of tech or the auto industry, but not from the built environment side of things,” Ohana says.

Queue Envoy, an electric car-sharing network. The company was a finalist this year at WeWork’s Creator Awards San Francisco, held on May 10.

Envoy, an electric car-sharing network, partners with apartment complexes, business offices, retail spaces, and more.

The mission-based company operating out of L.A.’s WeWork Culver City partners with apartment complexes, business offices, retail spaces, and more.

“We want to influence the way people move, one community at a time,” Ohana says.

Envoy is a “turnkey solution,” Ohana says, describing how users of their app register and reserve vehicles online, unlock the car with their phones, and get where they need to go quickly and efficiently.

The startup engages in a 50-50 revenue sharing agreement with partner properties. It offers them other perks as well, from fewer traffic and parking hassles to earning certification points toward becoming a LEED-certified building.

Envoy’s pilot program launched in 2017. Today, the company has 26 vehicles across 13 locations in the L.A. area. The company has raised more than $2 million in seed funding from various investors, and was awarded a $1.5 million grant to place 60 cars in low-income communities in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. That will mean deploying 200 vehicles by year’s end.

“We spent 2017 proving the business model,” Ohana says. “This year, we’re proving our ability to scale.”

Envoy is currently a finalist at the Creator Awards, a competition sponsored by WeWork. Ohana says a win will help his company scale even faster.

“I have some pretty grandiose visions of what this could be. We’re looking to expand very quickly,” Ohana says. “We look at WeWork as not only a blueprint for market scale, but we want to grow around where WeWork is located.”

Interested in workspace? Get in touch.