Amber, the Eindhoven-based car-sharing concept, is adding electric bicycles to its platform. “Especially for short rides, the bike is an even better alternative than an Amber”, says Amber’s Natasja van Eijsden. “And because we offer 100% mobility, we even transport our customers in a taxi if we can’t deliver an Amber on time. This has only happened once in recent years by the way.”
Amber also announces today that Pala Group BV, the joint venture of the Van Laarhoven and Van Doorne families, is investing in the car-sharing supplier. Details of the amount of the investment and the conditions are not disclosed. The agreement has turned Pala Group into a co-owner. The remaining shares are held by the founders, convertible investors and accelerator HighTechXL.
Amber started a year and a half ago with the delivery of shared cars for ABN AMRO. Meanwhile, more than 430,000 kilometres have been driven with Amber cars and the car sharing concept is present in the six largest cities in the Netherlands. Innovation Origins is one of Amber’s customers.
“Over the past two years we have grown week after week,” says CEO Steven Nelemans. “In the meantime, we have also invested a lot in our software and optimisation of the user experience. Now we will accelerate even further and become the largest car-sharing service provider in the business market.” Amber expects this to be the case this year. Van Eijsden: “At present, the pool cars organised by companies themselves are Amber’s main competitor in the business field. Car2Go and Greenwheels are the two competitors in the private shared car sector.” The difference is that Amber only offers 100% electric cars. Amber also says that unlike others it can always offer an alternative, “if necessary we even arrange a taxi”.
Jan Peter Oving, managing director of Pala Group BV, says with this investment he wants to participate in the future of mobility. “The market for mobility is undeniably changing. Leased cars are not always attractive to people living in the city. In addition, our business customers, in general, are making our fleet policy more sustainable.