SOCAR Malaysia, a car-sharing startup with headquarters in South Korea but with its operations based primarily in Malaysia, recently announced that it has launched TREVO, an application-based marketplace that enables car sharing between drivers and car owners, in Malaysia. While SOCAR Malaysia itself is also a car-sharing service just like TREVO, both are essentially different in that SOCAR Malaysia manages its own fleet of vehicles whereas TREVO is a platform that allows car owners to rent out their vehicles to drivers. TREVO is also under the management and operation of Future Mobility Solutions, which is SOCAR Malaysia’s subsidiary company. SOCAR Malaysia is itself a joint venture between SOCAR Korea and SK Holdings. While TREVO was officially launched on February 25, 2020, it has been in operation for quite a few months already, having both a social media presence on Facebook as well as being accessible to users on both its iOS and Android apps.
Presently, the car-sharing service TREVO is only operating in Malaysia. It was introduced in the country by the startup SOCAR as a means of developing a community of like-minded individuals that share a common objective of improving mobility in a sustainable manner while also providing an extra source of income for car owners and a wider selection of cars for drivers. Since the service started in October last year, the growth of TREVO’s community has steadily gained pace and now includes a variety of more than three hundred vehicles for drivers to choose from, with most of them concentrated in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area.
Susan Teoh, general manager of TREVO, said that the car sharing service wants to introduce its Trevolution concept in which Malaysian drivers (guests) are provided a much wider selection of mobility options to choose from to suit their driving needs and preferences, while car owners (hosts) can let their car pay by itself by sharing their car on the marketplace.
Shin Jung Ho, executive vice president at SK Holdings, said that the company is delighted to have invested in delivering unique and innovative mobility solutions such as the TREVO car-sharing service to Malaysia, which is timely as many Malaysians are gradually changing the way they view transportation and car ownership. Shin Jung Ho also said that the company was greatly encouraged by the impressive development and growth of SOCAR Malaysia, which has demonstrated that the car-sharing ecosystem in Malaysia is worth investing in, hence their decision to put more investment into the developing sector.
According to Leon Foong, chief executive officer of SOCAR Malaysia who spoke at the launch, TREVO was a perfect fit for the Malaysian mobility market because more than 90% of Malaysian households have at least one car. The combination of Malaysia’s high car ownership numbers and their people-to-people car sharing service presents an opportunity for many Malaysians to earn extra income to offset the financial burden of car ownership. The startup views its TREVO car sharing service as demonstrating its dedication to building a multi-flex system whereby the car sharing market is opened to the participation of car owners.
The launch of TREVO follows the car sharing startup SOCAR Malaysia’s announcement of its Series A funding round last week in which it secured US$18 million from KH Energy and Eugene Private Equity, which are both South Korean investors.