The $1B Milestone: The Underreported Global Success of Car Subscriptions

Quietly surging past the $1 billion benchmark, car subscription startups are radically redefining automotive ownership, urging legacy players to swiftly adapt or risk losing their pole position in a dramatically shifting industry landscape.

Michael Higgins

Co-Founder, Managing Director

Published on 

March 19, 2024


Last updated on 

March 21, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • The car subscription market’s rapid approach to $1 billion in financing indicates a vast growth potential and industry shift towards subscription models.
  • Successes of subscription-based startups against the backdrop of high-profile failures highlight a significant, yet underreported, revolution within the automotive sector.
  • Legacy automotive companies must quickly adapt to changing consumer preferences for flexibility and access over ownership, or risk being left behind in the evolving market landscape.

In a remarkable turn of events that heralds a new chapter in the story of mobility, the car subscription market has quietly surpassed the $1 billion benchmark in debt financing and equity capital just this quarter as mobility disruptors move from middlemen to asset owners.

Early last year, conventional wisdom within Loopit pointed to an upper hand for established automotive giants in the subscription space.

Given their vast scale and entrenched infrastructure, automakers, dealerships, and rental companies seemed well-placed to capitalize on and control the trajectory of the car subscription arena. However, at the same time we warned that this head start would not be in perpetuity.

Fast-forward to the present, and the home ground advantage in the car subscription industry for established automotive players is quickly being eroded.

Headlines that once cast long shadows across the still nascent car subscription industry may have created a false sense of security among legacy players, and many have been caught sleeping.

The Underreported Success of Car Subscriptions

Amidst a narrative often dominated by high-profile failures such as Cazoo and Fair, the real story has been the quiet proliferation of subscription-based mobility startups that have not only survived but thrived unnoticed.

In the first quarter of 2024 alone, flexible mobility providers have announced over $1 billion in debt financing and equity capital to grow their owned fleets.


Kyte closed a $250 million asset debt facility with Barclays and Waterfall. Since its Series A in March 2022, the company has grown 6x, expanded to 12 markets across the U.S, and raised over $100 million of equity capital.


FINN, which currently manages 25,000 subscriptions in Germany and the US, has raised $110 million in a Series C that values the company at $658 million post-money.

Octopus EV

An offshoot of Britain's Octopus Energy, Octopus EV has secured $700 million in financing from Lloyds Banking Group.


Planet42 has raised a further $15.6 million in debt and equity funding from Standard Bank, bringing its total raise to more than $150 million in capital.

Honorable Mention: The French Government

The French government has paused its scheme to lease electric cars to low-income households after subsidizing more than double the number of vehicles planned for all of 2024 in less than six weeks.

A Call to Action for Legacy Automakers

These under-the-radar success stories signal a silent but potent revolution set to upend the automotive sector. These companies have managed to devise and implement subscription models that resonate with modern consumers' desire for flexibility, convenience, and the ability to change cars with the same ease as upgrading a smartphone.

This landmark moment in the evolution of car subscriptions serves as a clarion call to established automotive players.

The burgeoning success of these new market entrants should not be underestimated. Traditional automotive companies must reassess their strategies, moving fast to forge partnerships, acquire promising startups, or revamp their business models to include flexible subscription offerings.

The message is clear: the future favors access over ownership. Modern consumers are increasingly drawn to the idea of using a car without the burden of owning it - a paradigm shift that promises to redefine personal mobility.

To remain relevant in this rapidly changing landscape, legacy automakers must adapt swiftly, embracing innovative models that align with evolving consumer preferences.

Navigating the Future of Mobility

As the car subscription market crosses the $1 billion threshold, it's evident that we are on the cusp of a significant transformation in how we think about mobility.

The automotive world must take heed of this shift, recognizing that the pathway to future success lies in flexibility, innovation, and a keen understanding of changing consumer dynamics.

The race is on to redefine the essence of automotive ownership, with car subscriptions leading the charge towards a more adaptable and user-centric future.

About the author
Michael is the co-founder and managing director at Loopit, a SaaS platform specialising in new mobility initiatives such as car subscription, rideshare and digital rental solutions. When he’s not launching new businesses, Michael enjoys motorsports, racing cars himself as well as boating.
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