PE-backed online car retailer Vroom grabs $95 mln Series C


New York and Dallas-based Vroom, an online retailer of used cars, has raised $95 million in Series C funding. The investors were not named. Also, the company has agreed to buy Houston-based online car retailer Texas Direct Auto. No financial terms were disclosed. Vroom’s previous backers include Catterton, General Catalyst Partners and T. Rowe Price Associates Inc.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, NY – December 16, 2015 – Vroom (www.vroom.com), the premier online retailer of pre-owned cars, today announced it has agreed to acquire Texas Direct Auto (TDA). The acquisition will be funded through a $95 million Series C equity round, and is subject to regulatory approval. The two brands will co-exist and continue to operate online separately. TDA was founded in 2002 and is based in Houston, Texas. As the number one retailer on eBay Motors, TDA is the pioneer in car retailing online.

“We have always admired Texas Direct Auto’s capabilities and we’re excited to partner with them, especially considering their groundbreaking, RFID-led automated reconditioning process,” said Allon Bloch, CEO of Vroom. “Their continued innovation has enabled the most technologically advanced used-car operation to grow to an enormous scale. Now, with Vroom, this combined scale gives customers an expanded inventory of low mileage, professionally reconditioned cars, at great prices.”

The combined company, headquartered in New York, will now have 500 employees, all dedicated to making the consumer journey and product flawless. The company will have auto reconditioning and fulfillment facilities in Dallas, Houston and Indianapolis. Each state-of-the-art facility is built from the ground up to impeccably recondition cars to a new industry standard – Vroom Supremely Certified. These facilities also serve as giant distribution centers, giving Vroom national reach to provide free coast-to-coast car delivery.

“Texas Direct Auto has led online car retailing and their team shares our business spirit of making buying and selling cars online the smartest and easiest way to transact, with an experience that is transparent and fun,” added Vroom Chairman Elie Wurtman. “The continued investment in technology allows the combined company to tackle the operational complexity of making this vision a reality. Millions of people who want to sell their cars or purchase new ones will be able to do it in a more efficient and empowering way that’s as easy as any other e-commerce transaction.”

Vroom delivers superior customer service in addition to a superior car, at highly competitive prices. It eliminates all the hassle of the traditional way of buying, selling and financing cars, by putting the entire process online. By leveraging big data, Vroom provides customers with cash offers to purchase their cars sight unseen, in under five minutes, an industry first.

“Joining forces with Vroom is a natural way for us to continue to grow Texas Direct Auto – both brands and companies will be run as separate entities and will leverage each other’s strengths,” said Rick Williams, co-founder of Texas Direct Auto. “We’re confident that this move will help us continue to be at the forefront of transforming the automotive industry.”

“We’re tremendously excited to be a part of the team at Vroom, the fastest-growing auto e-commerce company in the country,” added Texas Direct Auto co-founder Mike Welch. “They are as passionate as we are about changing the way cars are bought and sold online and providing the best end-to-end customer experience.”

Founded in 2013, Vroom enables customers to easily find impeccably refurbished, accident-free, low mileage cars at no-haggle prices below market value, with free delivery nationwide to their doorsteps. Vroom provides a 7-day money back guarantee, no questions asked return policy, and stands behind their cars with a 90-day bumper-to-bumper warranty.

The new funding will support the acquisition while allowing Vroom to accelerate growth and expedite delivery, with the goal of shipping cars to customers all over the country within just 48 hours of purchase. The company is opening a new 500,000 square foot facility near Indianapolis in early 2016.

For more information, visit Vroom.com.

About Vroom:
Vroom empowers customers all over the country to save time, hassle and money by bringing all three aspects of the car buying process – buying, financing and selling – online in an easy, transparent and affordable way. Vroom offers thousands of high quality, refurbished, pre-owned vehicles with free delivery to customers’ doors nationwide. Vroom was founded by experienced tech startup veterans and automotive industry experts, and the company is based in New York and Dallas. For more information, visit Vroom.com.

About Texas Direct Auto:
Texas Direct Auto is the pioneer of selling vehicles online. Founded in 2002 by two serial tech entrepreneurs, Mike Welch and Rick Williams, the company has grown from a two-person startup to the largest privately owned independent dealership in the nation. Texas Direct Auto leverages proprietary RFID tracking and prioritization software that provides the framework for selling thousands of vehicles per month to consumers, dealers and dealer networks around the globe. It operates out of a highly automated, 70-acre facility near Houston, Texas. For more information, visit www.texasdirectauto.com.