SoftBank Group Corp. just led a $385 million funding round for a flexible-leasing app that makes cars more accessible to Uber drivers and other gig-economy workers.
Fair, led by TrueCar Inc. co-founder Scott Painter, has continued to grow since buying lease contracts in January from Uber Technologies Inc.’s shuttered subprime-lending unit. Fair has an
exclusive contract with Uber in the US to lease cars to its drivers, who are now about half of Fair’s 20,000 active users.
“With SoftBank as an investor, we have a clear focus on Uber and supporting their growth in the US,” Painter said in an interview. Fair will use the fresh equity as collateral to borrow more money to build up its vehicle inventory and expand overseas. The company will announce new international partnerships in 2019, Painter said.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund, a nearly $100 billion pool of money backed by billionaire Masayoshi Son, has already led investments in ride-hailing companies including Uber and China’s Didi Chuxing and has bought stakes in General Motors Co.’s Cruise and truck app Manbang Group. The fund has also invested in e-commerce startups in food and package delivery that depend on gig workers to transport goods in their cars.