Car-sharing marketplace Turo has teamed up with Kiva to offer interest-free loans to Black people and folks from traditionally underserved communities to buy cars and then share them on Turo. The $1 million commitment aims to address the issue of wealth inequality in the United States.
Called the Turo Seed Initiative, those who are eligible can raise up to $15,000 via crowdfunding and Turo’s matching program. In order to raise money on Kiva, folks must use the funding for business purposes, which includes car sharing on Turo. Through Kiva, they can raise up to $7,500 and Turo will then match up to $7,500. From there, they can buy a car and list it on Turo.
“This will make it easier for people who don’t have existing assets or the right credit score or doesn’t own a car to be able to get started that way,” Turo CEO Andre Haddad told TechCrunch. “They borrow the money and only reimburse the capital.”
Throughout the program, Turo says it will also work with hosts to ensure they can be effective in sharing their cars on Turo. In terms of repayment, Turo has a one-month grace period before hosts must start repaying the funds over a period of 42 months.
The program is limited to Turo’s top 15 markets, which include San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston and Houston, in order to ensure that there’s enough demand to make it worthwhile for hosts. On average, hosts earn around $600 per month by sharing their vehicles about 11 days per month. On top of that, hosts can also use their cars to drive for Uber or Lyft, or deliver for companies like DoorDash and Grubhub.
“We’re very confident that there is real profit to be made here,” Haddad said.
Turo has raised $467.4 million to date and competes against the likes of Getaround, Car2Go, ZipCar and others. In September, Turo says it saw 17% year over year growth in revenue and is on track to deliver 20% year over year growth in October. In October, Getaround raised a $140 million Series E round to bring its total funding to $600 million. At the time, Getaround said its worldwide revenue had moer than doubled from its pre-COVID baseline.