11 Apr 19

Online remarketer Shift scores $40m investment

U.S. online used-car startup Shift has just scored $40 million in equity funding, bringing the total of its Series D financing round to $180 million. The company, based in San Francisco (pictured), is planning to use that money to go big – and eventually go public. 

Founded in 2013, Shift is an online used-car platform that allows customers to browse, finance, buy (and sell) and even book test drives. Each car on the platform must pass a strict 150-point inspection. 

In 2018, Shift generated $135 million in revenue and it’s projecting up to $240 million for this year. Following in the footsteps of Carvana, a competitor who when public in 2017, Shift is aiming for an IPO by 2021, when it hopes to turn over up to $400 million. 

Superficially similar to Carvana, Shift has a broader inventory, with cars up to 10 years old and up to 120,000 miles on the counter. Like Carvana, it sees the fragmented nature of America’s traditional used-car business – 15 million transactions p.a. across 35,000 often very small dealerships, plus a large number of C2C transactions – as an opportunity for strong growth.

To capitalise on that opportunity, Shift has hired a new Chief Operating Officer in the person of Sean Foy, previously Head of Operations at Enjoy Technologies, Kindle, Fire, Echo and Amazon Devices. The company is also more than doubling its engineering staff, from 35 to 80 by the end of this year. Shift employs about 450 people in total.

Authored by: Frank Jacobs