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Softbank Invests in Car-leasing Startup Fair

2018-12-24 13:46 Monday

Car-leasing startup Fair, which was founded in 2016, is aiming to turn the car market on its head by providing cost-effective, convenient car leasing options for consumers. The entire process, from signing the lease agreement to completing the payment, can be conducted through the company's mobile app.


Users can register through a credit card and drivers license. Fair has worked closely with Uber in recent years; Uber sold Fair its $400 million leasing business earlier this year, in order to equip its drivers with vehicles. Fair's ambitions have been confirmed through a massive Series B funding round of $385 million, led by Softbank, for a major step forward in its global expansion plan.

Softbank is known as one of the largest investors in ride-sharing businesses, having backed nearly all global ride-sharing giants, including Uber in North America, Didi in China, Grab in Southeast Asia, Ola in India, and Getaround in the U.S.

"We think Fair could help unlock ridesharing on a global scale, and we're excited to see how this can add to Softbank's portfolio and vice versa." said Lydia Jett, an investor in Softbank.

Fair CEO and co-founder Scott Painter said that the company had been talking to Softbank for the previous year. One of Softbank's reasons for investing was Fair's ability to turn around Uber's leasing business.

"The plan is to scale the business ten-fold. Fair is already in 15 states (26 markets) in the US and is adding a new city every week, leasing cars to more than 20,000 users to date. Growth has been dramatic over the last year", Painter noted.

Since the official launch in August 2017, Fair has serviced more than 20,000 users through 3,000 dealer partnerships in the U.S. The startup has now raised more than $400 million in equity funding, including a $50 million round of funding in February. With the latest cash injection from Softbank, Fair will now accelerate its efforts to bring its Uber tie-up to more markets around the world.

"We're in the midst of a transformational shift as consumers choose access to services over ownership. This financing signals that Fair will be a critical and enduring component of this transition in mobility as we replace the decades-old, debt-based system of car-buying with a payments platform that's simple, affordable, and flexible", Painter concluded.

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