Car sharing has become a massive industry in just a short amount of time, but not all services are created equal.
In Canada, one company seems to be towering over the others: Turo is celebrating their two year anniversary in the country and has just passed 350,000 total users with more than 10,000 total vehicles available on the platform in Canada.
“We have been amazed by the interest of Canadians in Turo,” says Cedric Mathieu, Turo’s Canadian director. “Bringing over 350,000 Canadians on board—which is almost one per cent of the population—is quite impressive for a concept that was completely new two years ago. This is something people want and it’s something we need to get into as many people’s hands as we can.”
That total user base has more than doubled over the last year as well, showing the quick growth of Turo in Canada. The total number of vehicles available has more than tripled over the last year as well— there are even some eclectic options to pick from, whether it be the 42 Porches, 38 Teslas, or even the four VW Westfalias.
Taking a deeper look at a city-specific case shows Turo as the most popular car sharing network in both Toronto and Montreal. The former boasts 90,000 members and 700 cars to book while the latter has 60,000 members and 1,000 cars to choose from.
“The marketplace usually grows faster in big metropolitan areas,” explains Mathieu. “Toronto and Montreal are the clear leaders, and in just two years of growth, it shows the potential of our model. ”
Overall Turo is active in 351 cities across Canada. Users share their cars for an average of 8.8 days per month and make $600 a month from doing so—which is often enough to cover most car payments.
“One thing I love about these platform businesses is that they’re fundamentally based on optimistic principles that people are great,” Turo CEO Andre Haddad told Techvibes late last year. “It’s a vote of confidence in human nature and the ability for us to be entrepreneurial and scrappy, and to find different ways to create economic empowerment.”
However, the service is still not available in B.C. due to ongoing discussions with regulatory insurance bodies in the province. Turo has had to operate using their commercial host program, which puts their marketplace in the hands of smaller independent car rental companies who can offer their own insurance. This creates a large disparity in terms of Canadians with access to P2P car sharing—89 per cent of Quebec car owners have access, but only 54 per cent of Ontarians, and of course, zero per cent of B.C. residents.
This two year anniversary also brings a few new announcements for Turo as a whole. They are working to expand their commercial hosting program to more areas, giving small business owners more ways to share their company.
Turo also added another $12 million to their $92 million Series D funding round, for a total of $104 million. The new investors included Amex Ventures, allowing Turo to explore new ways to infiltrate the travel and insurance industry.