October 25, 2012

Private Equity and vRide Partner to Help Commuters Save Time, Money and the Environment

Judge: “TPG’s investment in vRide exemplifies the societal benefits of pairing capital and expertise with entrepreneurs, innovators and fresh ideas.

Michigan-based vRide is a ride sharing platform offering commuters an economical and environmentally friendly way to get to and from work each day. They’ve issued a nation-wide challenge to take one million cars off the road. Their unique story – and the important role private equity investment played in making it possible – is featured in the newest video case study from the Private Equity Growth Capital Council’s Private Equity at Work campaign.

vRide was founded as a van pooling company in 1977, but their partnership forged with private equity firm TPG Capital in 2010 has vRide poised for growth. By providing patient growth capital, a strategic focus on innovations to improve the service for commuters, and the necessary management and operational expertise to bring those innovations to market, TPG has helped vRide improve its platform with an eye towards expanding its footprint, delivering benefits to the environment in the process.  Today, vRide operates nationwide from more than 40 offices that offer van pooling services in every state.

“Every vRide vanpool takes on average nine cars off the road,” explains vRide CEO Ann Fandozzi. “That’s nine cars less of emission, that’s nine cars less of fuel consumption, that’s nine cars less of parking infrastructure, of congestion on the roads for every single vanpool out there.”

More vRide highlights include:

On average, vRide saves commuters up to $5,000 per year.

vRide has more than 5,000 daily active vanpools and more than 50,000 commuters. That’s 25 million passenger trips per year.

vRide eliminates approximately 78 million vehicle miles per year, taking more than 800,000 cars off our highways and roads every month, and saving more than 78,000 parking spaces per day.

vRide saves more than 3 million gallons of fuel per month, adding up to $10 million of savings to commuters.

“People tend to pigeonhole private equity as investing only in established companies in traditional sectors of the economy,” said Private Equity Growth Capital Council President and CEO Steve Judge.  “vRide’s story blows a hole in that theory and shows the diversity of investments being pursued by today’s private equity industry. TPG’s investment in vRide exemplifies the societal benefits of pairing capital and expertise with entrepreneurs, innovators and fresh ideas.”

“Private equity does in fact help businesses realize their dreams,” says Fandozzi. “If you don’t have access to resources both in terms of knowledge base and funds, most ideas die. At the end of the day, it’s no more complicated than that.”