Irish co-founded UFODrive raises $19m in investment led by Hertz

News comes as Hertz to deploy UFODrive’s technology to manage its EV fleet operations

Irish co-founded electric-car rental company UFODrive has raised $19 million (€16.75 million) in a funding round co-led by Hertz.

The investment comes as car rental giant Hertz announced it is to deploy UFODrive’s digital rental and fleet-management technology to enhance its global EV fleet operations.

Hertz late last year agreed a multimillion-dollar deal to convert more than 20 per cent of its rental fleet to Tesla electric cars. The order for 100,000 Teslas sent the Elon Musk-owned company’s valuation to $1 trillion for the first time when it was announced.

Founded by Aidan McClean and Renaud Marquet in 2018, UFODrive is all-digital, all-electric car rental service that is controlled via an app. It offers high-end vehicles for rental from the likes of Tesla, Hyundai, Audi and Jaguar.


Hertz, which exited bankruptcy last year, co-led the investment in partnership with Certares, a US-based investment specialist dedicated to the travel, tourism and hospitality sector. Knighthead Capital also participated, as did existing shareholders.


The company said it intended to use the additional capital to accelerate product development and to expand globally, with a focus on the US market.

“We are proud that we are helping to accelerate the transition to zero-emissions mobility, and our investors see the opportunity ahead.” said Mr McClean, UFODrive’s chief executive.

UFODrive currently operates in nine countries, including Ireland, where it began offering it services in April 2019.

As part of the investment, Hertz senior vice-president of strategy Jayesh Patel and Chantal Noble Haldorsen, venture lead at Certares, are to join the UFODrive board.

"Our partnership with UFODrive is yet another major step in Hertz becoming an essential component of the modern mobility ecosystem," said Mark Fields, Hertz interim chief executive.

“Together, we will pilot ways to make renting an EV even easier using UFODrive’s digital platforms for both the rental experience and fleet management. For customers, this partnership will help us create the future rental car experience that is all digital and EV-centric,” he added.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist