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Peer-to-Peer Car-Sharing Company Turo Files for its IPO

Not Yet Profitable, Turo Investors Point to Positive Trends

During the first nine months of last year, Turo’s revenue tripled when compared to the same period in 2020. Company documents show $544 million in accumulated deficit as of late September. Yet, Turo reported 1.3 million active guests, 160,000 active vehicle listings, and 85,000 active hosts as well.

While the company has yet to turn a profit, executives highlight opportunities amid shifting behaviors. Trends show people still favor cars as a means of transportation but prefer to access them in an on-demand fashion. As such, Turo notes from a car owner or host perspective, automobiles are increasingly expensive and often underused.

Turo’s Model Differs From Traditional Car Rental Companies

Turo says its model has lower capital costs and more flexibility than rental cars or fleet-based car shares, like Avis’ (CAR) Zipcar. The San Francisco-based car-sharing marketplace allows car owners to list their vehicles and then earn extra income when guests rent them. Similar to Airbnb (ABNB), Turo reaps a portion of the sale from both the vehicle owner and renter.

In announcing its IPO, Turo describes the platform as economically efficient and environmentally responsible. Guests choose from a wide selection of makes and models, and hosts can offer extra options like prepaid refueling, unlimited mileage, or even camping equipment add-ons. Turo says this syncs up with modern consumer preferences for on-demand, mobile-first services.

Friends and Family Program Would Let Owners and Renters Participate in IPO

Billing itself as the world’s largest car-sharing platform, Turo seeks to trade under the symbol TURO on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO would set aside upwards of 5% of shares to offer hosts and guests in a direct-share program. Ride-sharing company Uber (UBER) offered a similar “friends and family” program when it went public in 2019.

Turo maintains its platform pioneers an entirely new category of transportation by connecting consumers to privately owned vehicles. While the initial SEC filing suggests a proposed offering near $100 million, analysts note that’s subject to change. Investors are certainly intrigued by Turo’s growth amid changing consumer habits, but there are still plenty of questions surrounding its would-be IPO.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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