IAC, the parent company to Match Group, has announced that it will expand its portfolio by investing $250 million in Turo, a new peer-to-peer car-sharing app. The deal will make IAC Turo’s largest shareholder.
Marketed as an alternative to expensive rental vehicles, the ‘Airbnb for cars’ allows local residents to hire their keys out to visitors. Over 400,000 cars are registered on the platform, which has been downloaded over 1 million times on Android.
IAC CEO Joey Levin said in a statement: “Turo has incredible scale and is benefiting from clear network effects in a very large market where consumers want better, more tailored experiences – perfect for IAC.”
“Just as we’ve seen with travel, dating and home services, technology is accelerating a shift in the transportation space as the economics of car ownership change and the more than $60 billion global car rental market faces disruption and expansion with peer-to-peer car sharing services like Turo taking hold.”
Speaking to CNBC, he explained that there is room in the mobile app market for a service that gives users their own vehicle for hours or days at a time. Its offering is distinct from that of Uber, as consumers can store their belongings in the car and take multiple short trips.
It will also be difficult for competitors to overtake Turo, as it has spent around 8 years building up an active user base. As with Tinder, the number of users makes the experience better.
Levin added that he is not necessarily looking for synergies with other IAC brands, but that some of the lessons the company has learnt around marketing and consumer insight will be applied to help Turo grow.
Other IAC properties include Ask.com, Vimeo, ANGI Homeservices, The Daily Beast and Dotdash.
Read more here.