Barna Hub: A Chat with Mar Alarcón CEO of SocialCar
Today we talked with Mar Alarcón the forward-thinking CEO of SocialCar. This ethical startup from Barcelona is building a community and bringing car sharing to more than ten cities across Spain. At the same time it’s helping families make some extra income on the side – a great example of the sharing economy in action.
Tell us more Mar!
SocialCar is a peer-to-peer car rental company in Spain. Car owners can safely rent their cars through the platform and receive extra income, while drivers get access to a more sustainable and convenient mobility solution.
Down to Business
How is SocialCar different from other car rentals?
One of the massive advantages of SocialCar compared to other car sharing services is that you have your own car park where car owners can leave their vehicles. (Aparca y gana)
Also, we are a community and we’re user-centric – that means we listen to what our users ask for. For example, the community asked for a tool for selling cars, so we launched a platform for buying, selling and renting cars. We also inform our community that they have to declare their income – and we provide them with the tools to do so.
What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
I was at home with my second child, researching the industry and companies in the car sharing space all over the world. There weren’t many back then. That’s when I came across a company called WhipCar – a UK-based peer-to-peer car rental company.
It was actually one of the first in the world – and to me, it seemed like a great idea. I realized that the impact of peer-to-peer car sharing on sustainability would be much greater than that of a traditional car sharing service. Why would you buy a fleet of new cars, when there are already so many unused cars in the city?
Also, there’s the social impact of being able to help families earn money with their second most important asset: the car.
In 2010, when we were in the middle of a severe economic crisis here in Spain, it seemed like a very new and relevant approach. So I discussed it with my team and we came to the conclusion that this was the best way to do it – even though it would mean having to completely change people’s mindset.
What’s next for SocialCar?
The sky’s the limit! We have lots of ideas, but we’re taking it step by step. Now we have to consider how to grow more and be 100% profitable.
What makes Barcelona a great place to start a business?
In the last few years, Barcelona has became one of the hottest tech hubs in Europe. I think what makes Barcelona a great place to start a business is the mix of great talent, a multicultural city open to the world, excellent communications and a great quality of life.
What inspires you most about the Barcelona startup scene?
Hubbub (haha) and all that promote motivate, inspire and expose business ideas that change the world.
Do you have any advice for people thinking of starting their own business in Barcelona?
“Never Put Limits on Yourself!”
I think sometimes tend to put a lot of limits on themselves. We are usually the first ones to say: “I can’t do it. I’m not able to.”
This is something that you must not do! Ever. Tell your idea to everyone and something good will come out of it.
Thanks Mar, I think that’s advice we can all take on board!
Find SocialCar Online
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