Fair, the Santa Monica-based vehicle subscription app, announced this week that it had closed a $100 million debt facility and an equity investment with Ally Financial. This expansion of Fairs relationship with Ally will help the two-year-old startup get more entry-level drivers, who might not qualify for a traditional loan or lease, into vehicles. Ally is one of Fairs credit providers. They join Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Silicon Valley Bank.
Ally is an important strategic partner to Fair, and deepening the relationship represents the type of strategic alliances that are at the cornerstone of building a hyper-growth company like Fair, said Scott Painter, Fair founder and CEO, in an August 27 news release.
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Through this partnership, Ally provides us with a foundational strategic building block and gives us access to an important source of capital to scale our solution and meet the ever-changing needs of the modern car shopper, added Painter.
Fair launched in August 2017. Since that time, Fair has provided pre-owned vehicles for more than 45,000 subscribers in more than 30 markets in the United States. To use the Fair subscription, users download the app, enter some basic information, including location to see if Fair is available. If Fair cars are available in their area, they will learn how much they qualify to spend per month on a vehicle.
They can then search for qualifying vehicles, can choose their payment amount which can be increased or decreased based on how much the start payment, taxes and fees are. After choosing their vehicle, they sign for the car they want and either pick up the keys and car at a dealership or have it delivered to them (options vary based on the vehicle).
There is no long-term commitment, debt or paperwork to fill out. The subscription includes a limited warranty, roadside assistance and routine maintenance like oil changes, tire rotations and multipoint inspections. It is a new twist on vehicle subscriptions, testing the idea that todays car buyer wants options which dont necessarily include ownership.
We’re excited about the future of our alliance with Fair and look forward to taking it to the next level with continued investment in its groundbreaking subscription model, said Dinesh Chopra, Ally’s chief strategy officer. Fair is transforming the way consumers get and access pre-owned vehicles, and we are eager to be a growing part of a new flexible, completely digital solution that supports both consumers and dealers.
Georg Bauer, Fair co-founder and chairman, also commented on the new arrangement with Ally Financial.
“This deal is the latest evidence that institutional debt markets are highly receptive to the way Fair is transforming vehicle financing. It’s clear we’ll be able to continue to access the capital we need in order to connect dealers and consumers through a fully digital end-to-end experience, Bauer said.
Earlier this year, Fair partnered with Uber to make its pre-owned vehicles available to Uber driver-partners. Uber drivers can choose a car, starting at $130 a week with a $500 start payment. Each vehicle includes unlimited miles, vehicle warranty, routine maintenance and 24/7 roadside assistance. There is no credit approval necessary. Last fall, Fair partnered with AutoNation to expand its inventory.
Fair may only be two years old, but it has been making some important moves and developing mutually beneficial relationships. Unlike the subscription programs offered by auto manufacturers (e.g., Ford, Volvo, Lexus, Cadillac), Fair is affordable. Granted, the vehicles are pre-owned, but assuming Fair maintains quality standards, this isnt necessarily a bad thing. In fact, for those who are rebuilding their credit, Fair gives them an opportunity to get into a quality vehicle without credit. If Fair is transparent and executes its subscription program as advertised, they will continue to grow and to scale their business.