Fair, the company behind a mobile app that lets consumers secure vehicles online without a specific time commitment, has secured almost $1 billion in a strategic funding led by BMW i Ventures and including money from Penske Automotive Group Inc., the company said late last week.
Fair, of Santa Monica, Calif., was launched in September by co-founders Scott Painter, former TrueCar CEO, and Georg Bauer, former head of financial services for Tesla Inc. and BMW AG.
Fair's innovation is to let consumers prequalify for financing online, select a specific used vehicle from a list in their monthly payment range, pick up that vehicle after putting money down and making the first monthly payment and then have the flexibility to return the vehicle to Fair at any time.
Fair is trying to create a niche that gives drivers an option between a short-term rental and conventional fixed-term lease or purchase, the company's president, Bauer, told Automotive News.
"It's not a loan, a lease or a rental," he said. "The consumer can keep the vehicle two weeks, two months or six years. It combines the convenience of a rental but the low payments of a lease."