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SK Inc. to bolster its investment in future mobility in the fast growing Southeast Asian market

- SOCAR Mobility Malaysia, majority owned by SK Inc., to expand its market dominance in Southeast Asia as SK Inc. integrates business know-how acquired from the US market

- SK Inc. sees its return on investment double from its investment in Turo, a leading P2P car sharing company in the US

- SK Inc. to reinforce its investment cycle of integrating investment know-hows from advance markets into fast-growing markets 

SK Inc., the strategic investment holding company of South Korea’s SK Group, announced on Thursday that it has agreed to sell its entire stake in Turo, a peer-to-peer (P2P) vehicle car-sharing company, for USD 67.5 million (approximately KRW 88.1 billion). The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of this year with SK Inc. selling its stake in Turo to existing shareholder G Squared.

“We are pleased to collaborate with SK Inc., strengthening our relationship and providing liquidity to a fellow long-standing Turo shareholder”, said Larry Aschebrook, Founder & Managing Partner of G Squared. “With the purchase of these shares, G Squared will become the second-largest shareholder in Turo, reaffirming our commitment to this promising peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace.”

As a result, SK Inc. will gain a rate of return of about 121% (in terms of KRW) of its initial investment of USD 35 million (approximately KRW 39.8 billion then) in 2017.

Launched in 2009 and headquartered in San Francisco, USA, Turo operates a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace that connects hosts and guests and is designed to enable guests to book the perfect vehicle for any occasion. Today, Turo provides services in over 10,000 cities in the US, UK, Canada, France and Australia. The company has grown to become the world’s largest car sharing marketplace.  

Turo pioneered a new category of transportation by allowing guests to choose from a wide ion of privately owned vehicles. Compared to existing business-to-customer (B2C) car-sharing model, Turo streamlined processes for vehicle pick up and return at a cost-competitive price. 

SK Inc. has been building up its portfolio in the fast-growing mobility sector by investing about KRW 100 billion in Korea’s SOCAR in 2015. SK Inc. has been leading the global market for vehicle sharing and mobility technology with its investment in Grab and Turo.

With its global success, SK Inc. plans to bolster its investments in car-sharing, EV charging platforms and self-driving solutions in Korea and Southeast Asia. In particular, the company plans to promote SOCAR Malaysia, of which SK Inc., is the largest shareholder, as Southeast Asia’s representative mobility platform.

SK Inc. entered the Southeast Asian mobility market in 2017 by forging a joint venture with Korea’s SOCAR in Malaysia. SK Inc. secured management rights by acquiring an additional stake in SOCAR Malaysia in 2020. Currently, SOCAR Malaysia is Malaysia’s the No.1 car-sharing platform, dominating over 90% of market share, with 1.9 million members. In particular, the number of users soared to 20,000 per day in the recent months, compared to an average of 5,000 per day during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

SK Inc. was able to develop SOCAR Malaysia into an integrated mobility platform by combining the existing B2C car-sharing business model of SOCAR Korea with P2P car sharing model TREVO and personal driver service of Buddy Driver of Korea. 

In 2020, SOCAR Malaysia entered the Indonesian market with a differentiated business model. In 2021, EastBridge Partners, a global private equity firm of Korea, and Sime Darby Berhad, a multinational company of Malaysia, invested a combined KRW 65 billion. With a population of nearly 300 million, the Indonesian market is recognized for its growth potential.

“Over the past few years, SK Inc. has integrated the business know-hows acquired from the advanced mobility markets in the U.S. and South Korea to SOCAR Malaysia, a subsidiary of SK Inc., and built it into the No. 1 company in Malaysia within two years of launching the service,” said Kyungsang Yu, the Head of Digital Investment Center at SK Inc. “By focusing on the Southeast Asian mobility market, which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, SK Inc. will build a leading car-sharing company in Southeast Asia while reinforcing the virtuous cycle of reinvesting our funds into new mobility businesses.”

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