DriverUp raises $50 million in Series A

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DriverUp is an online car financing marketplace that has raised $50 million in Series A funding. Emerald Development Managers and RRE Ventures led this round of funding. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

DALLAS, Feb. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — DriverUp, the first online marketplace for automotive financing, launched today. In an industry first, the DriverUp marketplace gives accredited investors an opportunity to directly enter the $379 billion auto lending industry and provide dealers with an expedited, streamlined credit process. DriverUp is the exclusive brand of Sierra Auto Finance, an auto finance company launched with $50 million Series A financing, led by Emerald Development Managers and RRE Ventures.

The DriverUp platform uses technology to fundamentally improve how loans are secured and serviced by creating a direct-to-investor option that until now has not existed within the auto-lending industry. Through DriverUp’s proprietary software and advanced data analytics, the marketplace enables efficient processing and direct investment in auto loans, with full transparency and reporting.

“Auto lending historically has been riddled with inefficiencies and lack of innovation; it’s ripe for fundamental transformation and we are leading that change with a technology-driven approach,” said Sam Ellis, president and chief executive officer, DriverUp. “DriverUp democratizes the auto lending industry and brings incredible efficiency and transparency to the process. Consumers, investors, and dealers all benefit.”

DriverUp is the first mechanism that allows accredited investors such as hedge funds, family offices, and high net worth individuals an opportunity to participate directly in high yield auto lending. Previously, investing in this sector was limited to a handful of large institutions.

“DriverUp is the first of its kind auto-lending marketplace, and a critical solution to radically improve all stages of the auto-lending pipeline,” said Stuart Ellman, co-founder and managing partner, RRE Ventures, a leading VC with over $1.5 billion in total capital commitments. “This is a highly attractive investment vehicle for the 99% of investors who previously could not access this asset class; a turnkey credit process for dealers; and delivers increased financing for consumers.”

Direct sale of auto loans helps establish streamlined financing for auto financing companies and frees up funds to continue lending, a growth driver for the economy. Through DriverUp, more money is put to work, dealers increase sales of cars and consumers benefit from greater access to credit.

Demand for auto loans is driven by a series of favorable macro-factors, including search for higher yield in 0% interest rate environment, tepid growth in credit cards and improved access to credit by borrowers. There is also strong post recession industry growth, consumer credit stability and healthy employment levels.

Even in times of economic stress, such as the 2008 recession, auto loans as an asset class performed well, providing desirable diversification for investors. Through DriverUp, investors can expect attractive risk-adjusted annual yields relative to comparable alternatives.

The company is built upon decades of combined auto industry, consumer finance and technology expertise. To learn more about DriverUp, please visit www.driverup.com.

About DriverUp

DriverUp is a new online marketplace for automotive financing that lets investors – who previously did not have access – to directly participate in the growing, higher-yield business of auto lending and provides dealers with a streamlined credit application that speeds loans and moves cars. DriverUp’s proprietary technology platform makes processing and buying loans quicker and easier. Rely on DriverUp’s industry stature – more than 100 years of collective experience in automotive and consumer finance – for a direct connection to the business.

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