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50 Leading Companies of the Year 2022

Turo: How the world’s largest car sharing marketplace is uniquely positioned to put the world’s 1.5 billion cars to better use

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Turo is pioneering a new category of transportation and driving the global transition to a new world of mobility. The platform unlocks peer-to-peer car sharing through technology, offering consumers a more convenient, economically efficient, and environmentally and socially responsible way to access a unique selection of vehicles.

During the car rental crunch, Turo hosts stepped in to fill the void left by traditional rental car companies and made the return to travel and vacation possible for countless people all over the country. For consumers, these types of disruptions have brought to light many shortcomings of the traditional car rental experience. It’s made people realize that they want the power of choice, convenience, and excellent service.

We recently interviewed Andre Haddad, CEO of Turo, to learn more about how Turo is advancing the next era of personal mobility. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.

Q. What was the idea that led to the establishment of Turo?

Turo was founded in 2009 with a mission to put the world’s 1.5 billion cars to better use. We wanted to provide guests with the opportunity to book any car they wanted, wherever they were, from a vibrant community of local hosts. We are excited to foster our hosts’ entrepreneurial spirits and provide guests with the opportunity to make their cars a memorable part of their vacation.

Q. What does innovation mean to Turo? 

Marketplaces attract both innovators and entrepreneurs as well as consumers who value one-of-a-kind products over mass-produced products. A marketplace like Turo provides hosts with a widely accessible entrepreneurial opportunity while empowering guests to access a car when they want or need it. Turo has provided a platform to our host community who are finding value in assets that were once sunk costs, transforming them into revenue generators.

Q. How does Turo preserve the culture of innovation at the company?

We have created a culture of innovation at Turo that has been powered by our core values – to challenge the status quo and always strive to try new things, without fear of failure; to be efficient and let the data drive our decisions; to be supportive and always connect, collaborate and lift each other up; to be down-to-earth, maintaining humility in our work, our culture and our product. We strongly believe in the importance of customer feedback, and the ability to internalize and act upon that feedback has helped us tremendously in improving our offering.

Q. How is Turo supporting aspiring entrepreneurs?

Behind the success of Turo is our host community, who are building successful small businesses on the platform. To make travel possible during the car rental crunch this past year, Turo doubled down on its commitment to small business hosts, committing over $30 million in the second half of 2021, which encouraged entrepreneurship while expanding the selection of cars on the platform. Turo has also introduced tools to help hosts make more informed decisions, and launched the Turo Seed Initiative providing up to $1 million in funding to aid entrepreneurs in building profitable car sharing businesses. We hope to inspire our hosts to share any car and forge their path towards financial empowerment.

Q. How important is sustainability to Turo? Could you tell us a bit about how Turo became the first carbon-neutral car sharing marketplace this year?

As the largest peer-to-peer car sharing platform with a core mission of putting the world’s existing resources to better use, I strongly believed that making Turo carbon-neutral was a necessary next step in fighting climate change and making the industry more sustainable. We are currently the only car sharing marketplace with a plan to offset 100 percent of estimated global carbon emissions, based on the total number of miles driven on Turo trips, and all emissions from our global office footprint. We also continue to champion the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles and support the organic growth of electric vehicles shared on the platform.

Q. Was it difficult for you to operate during the pandemic? How did you adapt for the same?

The pandemic accelerated many behavioral trends such as the need for flexible, remote working, the rise of entrepreneurship and small business owners, as well as on-demand mobile experiences like telehealth. All of these trends benefited Turo as our hosts grew their own small businesses on the platform and our guests opted for domestic travel via driving instead of flying. A big shout out to our hosts, who stepped up and made travel possible during the rental car crunch.

Q. How has having star investors like Kleiner Perkins, August Capital, Sumitomo Corporation, SK Holdings, and IAC helped in your journey of innovation?

With the help of our investors, Turo has been able to raise $500 million in funding, which has helped accelerate company growth, hire a strong team, invest in our hosts, and improve the customer experience. We’re so fortunate to have investors who wrote the script on how to scale marketplace businesses, and who are actively involved as partners in helping us build Turo into what it is today, the world’s largest peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace.

Q. Does Turo have any plans to expand beyond the US, the UK and Canada?

We will continue to evaluate all opportunities that will help enhance our mission of putting the world’s 1.5 billion cars to better use – wherever in the world we may be.

About the Leader

Andre Haddad, CEO

Andre first fell in love with online marketplaces when he was rebuilding his beloved record collection that was destroyed by a bomb in his hometown of Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War. After leaving Beirut and establishing himself in France, he became electrified by the notion of buying and selling products on the internet while replacing the records he once loved. Inspired by platforms like eBay that can unlock democratization of opportunity for the public, he co-founded an online marketplace site for Europe, iBazar, which was later acquired by eBay in 2001. He then served in several roles at eBay, including Senior Vice President, Product, GM in Europe, VP, International Operations, and VP, User Experience and Design. Prior to joining Turo as CEO in 2011, Andre was the CEO of Shopping.com. As a car enthusiast and an expert at building online marketplace businesses, Turo combines all of Andre’s passions — democratizing access to economic opportunity for hosts and empowering guests to find their drive while putting the world’s 1.5 billion cars to better use.

“We hope to empower our hosts to share virtually any car and forge their path towards financial empowerment.”