Turo’s Peer-to-peer Car Marketplace Isn’t Slowing Down
Founded in 2009, Turo arrived on the scene right at the beginning of what would be dubbed the “sharing economy”. The company’s premise seemed a bit out there at the time—having strangers share your car—but has since proven to be a lucrative business that attracts consumers and VCs alike.
According to Andre Haddad, CEO of Turo since 2011, there are almost 300 million cars in the United States and about 1.1 billion worldwide. While those numbers seem staggering, the average car is only used 5% of the time, per Haddad. Turo looks to fill that gap, offering a marketplace where car owners can share their cars with other users when available.
The company currently boasts more than 850 makes and models on its site, ranging from a Prius for $46 a day to an Aston Martin Vantage, yours for just under $800 per day. The emergence of the latter, premium-class, vehicle is something that took the Turo team by surprise initially. Who would want to have a stranger in their Aston Martin? What they learned was that Turo actually makes owning a premium-class vehicle a bit more practical than it used to be, since consumers can now offset some of the cost by sharing it.
Outside of making vehicles more affordable, Turo also enables car owners to share their passion with a wide array of people. Haddad is a great example of this. A fan of Teslas, he currently has three listed—a Model S, X, and the 3—and finds that many of the people booking his cars are really excited about a unique experience that can often be hard to track down (the Model 3, for example, is widely available to test drive).
So what’s next for Turo? The company has raised about $200 million in funding to date from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Trinity Ventures. Having closed a $104 million Series D round in April, it would seem the peer-to-peer car sharing startup has plenty of gas in the tank. Companies in its class are often included in public offering rumors, but for now, Turo looks to be happy expanding its mark on a now-established industry.