Turo
2 years ago
 

RelayRides rebrands as Turo, lands $47M series C

RelayRides, a peer-to-peer car rental marketplace, is rebranding itself under the name Turo.

The San Francisco startup says that it has closed its Series C investment round, led by old-line giant venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Existing investors also participated in this round, including August Capital, Canaan Partners, Google Ventures, Shasta Ventures, and Trinity Ventures. Early investor General Motors sat out this round.

The startup has raised $101 million to date, but its executives declined to disclose what valuation the latest investment placed on it.

Turo says it has vehicle inventory in 3,000 cities and 270 airports, and that the funding will be used to expand internationally. He says the new name Turo will resonate better than Relay Rides in multiple languages and cultures.

The company, which has around 110 employees and a new San Francisco headquarters on Mission and Third, has assigned a team to its international expansion. But executives wouldn’t reveal details on its rollout outside of the United States.

CEO Andre Haddad told Tnooz by phone that most of his company’s users take trips for travel and tourism, with the average duration on a rental being five-and-a-half days. Lots of weekend and holiday trips domestically, as well as rentals from overseas visitors, with the average transaction value being about $250 to $300.

The company builds its traffic primarily through word of mouth and claims a high Net Promoter Score, a measure of customer satisfaction.

The startup has supplemented the organic growth with a gamut of digital marketing tools, such as search engine marketing, social media campaigns, and affiliate programs, to grow.

It hasn’t done any distribution deals yet, such as being part of aggregators or online travel agencies.

The company is adding Brook Porter from KPCB to its board of directors.

It continues to be banned from New York state, though the company says it is still working with state assembly representatives to try to get a law passed to change that.

As for the rest of the country, Haddad credits his startup’s growth partly to not having a standardized list of limited makes and models, helping it stand out from the major car rental chains. It instead appeals to a more aspirational desire, letting people “rent anything from an A3 to a Z4.”

CEO Haddad spoke with Tnooz earlier this year about the company’s take rates and how it discourages “phantom listings.”

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Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill had roles as a reporter and editor-in-chief at Tnooz between July 2012 and January 2017.

 

Comments

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  1. John Adkison

    Be careful with RelayRides (or now Turo) as they do not cover diminished market value after it has been in an accident and repaired. This could mean your car becomes worth thousands less than it was before the accident, even though it is repaired. Take it from someone who has personal experience

     
  2. Steve Sherlock

    I like the courage of an established business rebranding to a non-descript name. Presumably they see their future as a global platform and Turo should be easily pronounceable in most languages.

     
  3. Mike Henderson

    Thanks for a well written article. The best I have seen talking about this on the VC front.

     
 
 

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