ECI invests in CarTrawler

08/05/2011
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ECI Partners has invested in CarTrawler, the Dublin-based market leading provider of online car rental distribution systems. In addition, Mike McGearty, the former 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.

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.

This is ECI’s fourth deal in seven months (the others being XLN, Reed & Mackay and Fourth Hospitality).

“Greg and Niall Turley have created an exceptional business in CarTrawler. We are delighted that Greg has agreed to continue as a non-executive director of the company and we have a great management team who we are confident will take the business on to a new level. ECI is a growth investor with a track record of supporting high growth online companies expanding internationally and we look forward to helping CarTrawler continue to grow across the globe.”

Chris Watt

ECI Partners

“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.”

Mike McGearty

CEO of CarTrawler

“CarTrawler has been an exciting journey for both Niall and I and we look forward to seeing the business continue to go from strength to strength under Mike’s leadership. We have built up a strong team over the last seven years and we are delighted to have found an investment partner in ECI who I feel confident can help maximize the potential of CarTrawler.”

the company for further growth of its products and services in its existing and adjacent markets.”

Greg Turley

Co-Founder of CarTrawler

“It is great to be investing in one of Ireland’s most successful companies. It demonstrates that despite recent economic events, entrepreneurs in Ireland are still creating world class businesses. We look forward to working with Mike and his team but also to investing in other successful Irish companies.”

Tom Wrenn

ECI Partners with responsibility for Ireland

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