Zipcar, the car-sharing service with operations in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., filed a registration for an initial public offering that would raise some $75 million.
Founded in 2000 and backed by venture fund Greylock Partners, among others, Zipcar intends to use the IPO proceeds to pay down debt associated with its purchase in April of London-based Streetcar, and for additional acquisitions and investments.
Streetcar, which had revenue of $23.1 million in 2009, would provide a base for Zipcar's further expansion into Europe, Zipcar says.
The IPO could bring provide new focus on the car-sharing segment, where Zipcar competes with offerings such as Connect by Hertz.
Zipcar, which has 400,000 members and operates in 13 metropolitan areas and on 150 college campuses, recorded $131.2 million in revenue in 2009, but it hasn't had a profitable year in its decade-long existence.
Among its cited competitive advantages, Zipcar says it has "accumulated 10 years of car sharing data, which we can leverage to drive loyalty and growth by continually enhancing our member experience."
"Operating a self-service car sharing business within and across major metropolitan areas requires a technology platform capable of managing the complex interactions of real-time, location-based activities," Zipcar states. "Our custom-designed technology platform supports a fully integrated set of activities across our rapidly growing operations, including member sign-up, online and wireless reservations, keyless vehicle access, fleet management and member management."
On the consumer side, Zipcar says its system supports two-way texting, an in-vehicle toll-collection system and an iPhone app.