Daimler makes new strategic investments in peer-to-peer car-sharing

Daimler has furthered its presence in the car-sharing market by making a new strategic investment in the US company, Turo. The investment is interesting, however, as it involves both an investment by Daimler in the car-sharing start-up and the acquisition by Turo of Croove, Daimler’s own Turo-like subsidiary.

The funding is part of a new $92 million Series D round raised by Turo, which was also led by South Korean giant SK Holdings, in addition to Daimler, and which includes participation from new investors Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures and Founders Circle Capital, as well as from existing partners.

The investment includes a number of strategic tie-ups for Turo, which allows individual vehicle owners and small rental fleet operators to offer their cars up for short-term rentals by others.

Daimler’s investment is unique as it parallels Turo’s acquisition of its Croove business. Croove, which launched in December last year, was a car-sharing business that was fully owned by Daimler and which launched initially in Germany. It offered a very similar model to Turo, allowing anyone to rent their vehicle on a peer-to-peer basis, and it was open to vehicles of any make and model.

“We had a lot of interest from a bunch of OEMs in this round, and we had great conversations with a lot of those OEMs,”

explained Turo CEO, Andre Haddad.

“One of the things we particularly liked about Daimler was that they were not just talking the talk.”

Once the investment in Turo by Daimler was agreed upon the latter believed it no longer made no sense to continue to operate its own separate peer-to-peer car sharing business, hence the decision to put Croove in Turo’s hands.

Turo will launch in Germany, replacing the Croove brand, in a matter of weeks.

Photo credit: http://www.colourbox.com. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from TechCrunch.

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