Fair lands 2 major investments, including backing from BMW, Penske

Fair president Georg Bauer. Photo courtesy of company.

Fair, an app that provides used-car leasing to consumers on a flexible basis, announced two major investments on Friday.

The company said it is closing a BMW i Ventures-led strategic funding round that also includes investments from Penske Automotive Group, among other strategic investors.

Additionally, Fair has secured a total of nearly $1 billion in offers for dedicated capital coming from two entities: a group of institutional investment banks typically backing auto debt portfolios and a Sherpa Capital-led entity.

The latter entity is being developed to fund projects innovating the transportation industry, including ride-sharing and flexible ownership.

Fair, of course, certainly plays in that ballpark.

“It’s clear that technology is transforming how we buy and own our cars, and the consumer is the winner — with simpler, more flexible, and more cost-effective options than ever before,” Fair founder and chief executive Scott Painter said in a news release.  “Fair is on the forefront of making personal mobility more accessible for a new generation of customers.”

Painter has launched dozens of companies in the automotive space, including TrueCar and CarsDirect.com, and co-founded Fair with Georg Bauer, who previously worked in the financial services business for Tesla internationally.

Bauer’s background also includes time as BMW Group’s CEO of global financial services as well as Mercedes-Benz Credit’s U.S. CEO.

In a news release, Fair said its platform, “represents a strategic investment opportunity for manufacturers like BMW, because its technology-driven flexible-ownership solution benefits dealers like Penske Automotive Group and customers alike.”

BMW i Ventures managing director Ulrich Quay said: “Fair offers a completely new customer experience. The company allows users to access vehicles without a fixed term. This appeals in particular to younger generations who want more flexible usage models.”

Meanwhile, dealers are also an important piece of the puzzle for Fair, as they are what the company described as “operational partners.”

In the release, Painter said Fair will utilize Penske’s physical infrastructure.

“Penske is committed to be on the leading edge of technology, and our investment with Fair reflects that commitment,” said Penske president Robert Kurnick. “The potential appeal of the Fair app to consumers is compelling while keeping our company at the forefront of bringing mobility solutions to the marketplace.”

Fair has already launched in the Los Angeles area and is set to expand throughout California by year’s end, and entry into additional U.S. markets is planned for 2018.

 “In addition to Fair’s obvious benefit for customers, we believe our app will be a critical tool for dealers handling the rising flow of high-quality lease returns we expect over the next several years,” said Bauer, Fair’s president. “Enabling this process with digital capabilities creates an amazing opportunity for consumers, and helps build brand loyalty for automotive brands.”


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