Perhaps dealers now shouldn’t be surprised if the operation they’re bidding against for specific vehicles in the wholesale market is Fair.
Arriving amid all of the hubbub of NADA Show 2019, the car-as-a-service provider announced it closed a $50 million debt facility from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) to buy vehicles for its users — the latest in a series of many such transactions the company is making with institutional lenders as it scales globally.
The company highlighted the SVB debt facility complements credit lines Fair is already accessing with Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. It follows Fair’s closing of a SoftBank-led $385 million Series B funding round in December, which also included investments from Exponential Ventures, Munich Re Venture’s ERGO Fund, G Squared and CreditEase.
With that transaction — subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions — Fair has now raised nearly $500 million in equity in the past year, which it is leveraging to access a vastly larger sum of debt capital to buy cars on behalf of its customers.
“SVB is providing an innovative and flexible debt facility that supports our specific business model,” Fair chief executive officer and founder Scott Painter said. “Their forward-thinking approach is enabling companies like Fair to achieve scalable growth in the innovation economy and is a true blueprint for how tech companies should be able to access debt.”
Fair is an app that aims to put the entire end-to-end process of getting a vehicle on a customer’s phone. Users scan their license to shop pre-owned vehicle with all-in monthly payments they can afford, sign for the one they want with their finger, pick up their keys and drive it for as long as they want — with no long-term commitment or even physical paperwork.
“SVB is eager to support companies offering disruptive solutions in industries undergoing transformative change,” said Zhengyuan Lu, managing director and head of SVB’s warehouse financing group. “Fair is helping create the new mobility economy and Car-as-a-Service model, and we are thrilled to help propel its growth globally.”
Since launching in August 2017, Fair has provided cars for more than 20,000 users through its 3,000 dealer partners in 26 markets across the United States.
The company also has a nearly year-old partnership with Uber that allows potential rideshare drivers to access Fair right in the Uber app. They can pick the car they want, pay for it on a weekly basis as they use it for Uber rides and walk away whenever they want.
“Just as Fair offers a transformative experience to consumers and its dealer partners, it represents a compelling and industry-defining opportunity for investors and debt providers alike,” said Fair chairman and co-founder Georg Bauer. “We are gratified to have a forward-looking partner like SVB, which is solidifying its reputation for helping unleash big, new-economy ideas in technology.”