Daimler Mobility Services is investing in the US peer-to-peer (P2P) car-sharing company Turo.
The investment is part of a financing round raising $92 million, which brings the company's total funding to $193 million.
With over four million customers and more than 170,000 vehicles, Turo is the market leader in the P2P car-sharing sector in the US.
Other investors alongside Daimler Mobility Services were SK Holdings from South Korea, Liberty Mutual, which is Turo’s strategic insurance partner, and Founders Circle Capital.
Jörg Lamparter, head of mobility services at Daimler Financial Services, said: "People want access to mobility that goes beyond their own vehicle - anytime and anywhere. We have been meeting this demand already with our mobility services brands – car2go, mytaxi and moovel – for our 15 million customers. The investment in Turo further expands our strong position in the mobility services sphere.”
Turo CEO Andre Haddad added: “We are proud to welcome Daimler, SK Holdings and Liberty Mutual to the Turo family. This impressive roster of strategic investors joins our existing investors in fueling Turo’s mission to put the world’s one billion cars to better use, and positions Turo firmly as the global leader in the fast growing peer-to-peer car sharing space.”
At the same time, Daimler’s own P2P car-sharing platform, Croove, will be combined with the US company.
After the successful launch of the pilot project at the end of 2016 in Munich, Germany, Croove launched in Berlin in mid-April 2017, as well as in additional German cities. Its expertise and experience will serve as the basis for Turo to enter the German market within the next year.
With the private car-sharing platforms Turo and Croove, renters can use the app or website to quickly and easily find a private vehicle that suits their requirements and price expectations, and then rent it. This lets them be independent of a fixed rental station. Owners can optimize utilization of their vehicle and reduce running costs.
Turo originally launched under the name RelayRides in Boston and was founded in 2009. Soon thereafter, the headquarters were moved to San Francisco. Since 2012, Turo has been active nationwide in the US and has announced plans to enter the UK this year.
Turo's acquisition of Croove provides an immediate opportunity to expand its presence from existing international markets in Canada and the UK to Germany and more broadly into Europe.
Funding co-lead SK Holdings will also provide strategic support and insights as Turo considers expansion into South Korea and other Asian markets.
SK Holdings CEO Dong Hyun Jang said: “Attitudes toward car ownership and travel are rapidly changing. We've witnessed these changes first-hand through our investments in SoCar, Korea's leading car-sharing service, and SoCar Malaysia, which will launch at the end of this year.
“We are confident that Turo will continue to accelerate these trends and look forward to helping Turo to expand into Asia."