Online used-vehicle retailer Shift Technologies Inc. was able to source the bulk of its vehicles from consumers as it reported a large rise in sales and a wider net loss for the first quarter.
The company's retail sales in the quarter more than tripled to 4,452 units.
Shift said it sourced 87 percent of its retail units from customers in the period, with co-CEO Toby Russell calling it "one of the core differentiators of our business model that allowed us to grow despite significant lack of supply" in an earnings call Wednesday.
Shift grew its sellable inventory 93 percent from the beginning of the first quarter to the start of the current period, thanks to improvements in its in-house reconditioning levels.
Those reconditioning gains also drove its improved gross profit per unit from the fourth quarter. GPU was $1,655 in the first quarter of this year, compared with $466 in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $2,353 in the first quarter of 2020.
The San Francisco-based company has expanded its full omnichannel offering — meaning customers can have test drives brought to their homes — to Austin and San Antonio in Texas. Those markets join major areas along the West Coast where Shift offers delivered test drives. Shift otherwise sells its vehicles online to all 50 states.
The company launched car acquisitions in the greater Las Vegas area last week. That gave it 11 "super regions" across the western half of the U.S. where it is directly purchasing vehicles from customers.
In the first quarter, Shift's revenue more than tripled to $106 million. The company's net loss widened to $42.8 millionfrom $12.3 million in the year-ago period.
Shares in Shift fell 1.2 percent to close at $7.31 on Thursday.