Car-sharing star Turo files for an IPO, with plans to accelerate a $230B mobility revolution

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |

Airbnb on wheels… When your weekend getaway is the red Mustang. Turo, which bills itself as the world’s largest car-sharing platform, has filed to go public. Unlike Avis-owned Zipcar and competitors that own shared cars, Turo lets private car owners rent out their Porsches and pickups — and then takes a cut from both owners and renters.

  • The #s: Turo has 85K hosts, 160K cars, and 1.3M monthly users in the US, UK, and Canada. It plans to allocate 5% of its shares to owners and renters.
  • Turo-charged: Its revenue tripled in the first three quarters of last year from 2020 — but it still hasn’t turned a profit.

Car ownership = soo last century… according to Turo, at least. US households spend, on average, $11K on getting around, mostly with personal cars. But it’s twice as pricey to own a midsize car as it is to rent one. As auto prices soared on pandemic supply shortages, most younger drivers say they’d prefer not to own. Cue: booming interest in car sharing.

  • Millennial marketing: In October, Turo teamed up with rapper 2 Chainz for a promotion to win over younger drivers.
  • Traditional automakers are launching subscriptions for commitment-phobic drivers: Volvo, Nissan, Porsche, and Volkswagen all offer short-term car subscriptions.

Mobility companies are counting on a revolution… Turo’s betting on a “new world of mobility,” which it’s estimating has a total addressable market of $230B — almost 200X as large as the car-sharing industry’s projected annual revenue. Uber, Lyft, and Getaround also have plans to build a future on shared mobility. Think: scooters, rentals, and ride-hail. But Turo’s vision will become reality only if car-sharing overtakes car-owning — a big if. US car ownership has risen in the past decade, with consumers spending 70X more buying cars in 2021 than sharing ’em.