Mid-market private equity firm ECI Partners has confirmed it will invest in CarTrawler, the Dublin-based provider of online car rental distribution systems.
In addition, Mike McGearty, the former chief operating officer of CarTrawler, has been announced as the new chief executive who will lead the next stage of the business’s development.
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.
CarTrawler uses technology to link consumers with car rental suppliers directly and through third-party websites.
Its platform enables consumers to obtain real-time car rental prices and availability from over 550 car rental suppliers globally.
Chris Watt of ECI Partners commented: “ECI is a growth investor with a track record of supporting high growth online companies expanding internationally and we look forward to helping CarTrawler.”
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.
Mike McGearty, chief executive of CarTrawler, commented: “We looked hard to find an investor who understood our business and would actively assist us in our global growth ambitions.
“ECI’s enthusiasm for the business and track record in the online and travel sectors gives us great confidence in the future.
“We look forward to working together to continue to build the largest distributor of car rental globally.”