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RelayRides becomes Turo, drives away with $47M

The funding came from Kleiner Perkins, along with Google Ventures, Shasta and Trinity Ventures

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 3, 2015 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/4124

Say goodbye to peer-to-peer car rental service RelayRides, and hello to Turo!

The company announced on Tuesday that is has rebranded itself with the new name, and a new vision, one that it believes will allow it to expand its presence internationally.

"As a memorable, aspirational brand that inspires adventure, Turo positions us squarely within travel and tourism," Andre Haddad, CEO of Turo, said in a statement. "We envision a world where travelers can rent the perfect vehicle for their next adventure no matter where they are — a world where car owners transform their idle cars from depreciating assets into earning engines and help fuel travelers' adventures."

San Francisco-based Turo was founded in 2008 and was launched nationwide in 2012. The company, which started in Boston and San Francisco, allows car owners to share their vehicle with friends and neighbors for a fee.

It allows travelers to choose from a unique selection of nearby cars, while car owners earn extra money. Owners can deliver their cars to custom locations around town, within a set radius, or travelers can pick up the car at the owner’s location.

RelayRides was one of the top 10 finalists of Vator's first startup competition in 2010, and it originally focused on hourly, on-demand rentals, but the company eventually began pivoting away from that model and toward longer duration rentals, including weekly and monthly. The company now no longer charges an hour rate.

The company also began to emphasis airport travel, in which users can rent cars directly at the airport. It is currently in over 2,500 cities, as well as in 300 airports, across the United States.

In addition to the new name, Turo also revealed that it raised $47 million in Series C funding in a round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and its affiliates, along with participation from existing investors August Capital, Canaan Partners, Google Ventures, Shasta Ventures, and Trinity Ventures.

The company had previously raised $54 million in funding, most recently a $10 million round in August of last year. This round brings total funding to $101 million.

Turo says it will use the new funding to help enhance customer experience, accelerate customer acquisition, and expand into new geographies.

There is a big opportunity here for Turo, as the car rental space is a $65 billion industry, with $20 trillion worth of cars in the world.

"Turo's mission is to put the world's one billion cars to better use," said Haddad. "It is an incredible opportunity."

This is a lot of news, and it represents some big steps for the company going forward, so Turo is rewarding its customers by giving them $50 off the next time they book. Customers must book a new trip by 11:59 pm PST on November 30, 2015 to redeem the travel credit.

(Image source: turo.com)


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