Lithia leads $140 million financing round in Shift

Shift test-drive image courtesy of company.

Lithia Motors, one of the six publicly traded dealer groups in the U.S. and the fourth largest auto retailer, is leading a $140 million round of Series D financing in Shift, an online automotive marketplace.

The funding announced Thursday morning, which includes equity and debt, more than doubles Shift’s total financing of equity and debt, bringing it to $265 million.

Lithia and Shift are also forming a strategic partnership. Bryan DeBoer, who is president and chief executive officer at Lithia, is joining Shift’s board of directors.

“We’re impressed with Shift’s technology platform and dynamic operational capabilities,” DeBoer said in a news release. “Like us, they are creating a digital marketplace and providing a retail experience wherever, whenever and however consumers desire.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with a company that is a great cultural fit,” he said.

Shift co-CEO Toby Russell added: “Since our first meeting with the Lithia team, we were happy to discover we shared many of the same company values, including the desire to make car buying and selling more affordable, accessible and transparent.

“This collaboration gives us the resources we need to double-down on our technology investments and scale more quickly and efficiently,” Russell said. “As our company enters this new growth stage, we cannot think of a better partner to have by our side.”

Also participating in this round of funding were previous investors Alliance Ventures, BMW iVentures, DCM, DFJ, G2VP, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, and Highland Capital.

“Consumers have learned that an integrated buying experience is a superior buying experience,” said DFJ Partner Emily Melton. “No industry or engagement modality is immune — including car purchasing. This strategic partnership with Lithia enables Shift to scale their innovative car-buying platform and expedite the transformation of the auto industry.”


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