Fort Worth, TX, September 14, 2021— OpenRoad Lending and Clarion Capital Partners announced that Clarion has completed a strategic investment in OpenRoad, the fast-growing direct-to-consumer auto finance company. OpenRoad’s co-founders, Chris Goodman, Jeff Austin, and Joseph Everly, will continue their roles as CEO, CFO, and CTO, respectively. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 2009 by the same executives who pioneered RoadLoans, OpenRoad partners with banks, credit unions and institutional investors to enable consumers to refinance their existing auto loans, lower their interest rates and achieve significant monthly savings. In addition, OpenRoad offers value-add vehicle protection products such as GAP, vehicle service contracts and paintless dent repair. The company uses best-in-class sales and fulfillment processes, strategic marketing and a proprietary software platform to provide its lending partners with high-quality, high-performing direct loans that meet each lender’s underwriting criteria.
OpenRoad currently focuses all its efforts on auto refinancing. Through its partnership with Clarion, OpenRoad plans to capitalize on its market position and explore additional business lines, such as lending for auto purchases, lease buyouts, car insurance and other consumer verticals. OpenRoad will also leverage this investment to broaden its marketing channels and grow both organically and through acquisition.
“Over the past 12 years, we’ve built a tremendous operation known for saving customers money and delivering a convenient, modern online experience,” Goodman said. “We expect demand for auto refinancing to continue to rise as smart consumers look for ways to lower their expenses. That, combined with accelerating adoption of digital lending, will lead to significant growth for OpenRoad. We are excited to partner with Clarion and benefit from their extraordinary expertise, resources and network to grow our business, while delivering the best financing experience in the market.”
Matthew Feldman, Managing Director at Clarion, said, “OpenRoad’s exceptional customer value proposition, proven operational foundation, and commitment to meeting the needs of its lending partners is what attracted us to the business and what provides real opportunity for expansion. We are excited to partner with Chris and the management team to enhance their offering within the core refinancing product and beyond. Both of our teams share a commitment to excellence, integrity and collaborative culture. We believe we have a great formula for success.”
On the transaction, Colonnade Securities LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to OpenRoad. Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, PC served as legal counsel to OpenRoad. Clarion received legal advice from Akerman LLP and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, PC. Financing for the transaction was provided by funds managed by Madison Capital Funding and PennantPark Investment Advisers, LLC.
About OpenRoad Lending
OpenRoad Lending is an online direct-to-consumer auto finance company focused primarily on refinancing. OpenRoad helps consumers with all types of credit in 44 states and remains one of the country’s largest direct lenders for auto loans.
OpenRoad was recently recognized by Inc. Magazine as the 37th fastest-growing private company in America. They were also named a “Best Place to Work” company by the Dallas Business Journal and were a four-time national winner of “Best and Brightest Places to Work.”
OpenRoad’s online application and approval process enables consumers to apply for financing and complete the loan, all in the comfort and privacy of their own home, via www.OpenRoadLending.com.
Since its inception in 2009, OpenRoad has originated more than $3 billion in auto loan receivables. The company is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.
About Clarion Capital Partners
Clarion Capital Partners is a New York based private equity firm that focuses on making equity investments in lower middle market growth companies. Clarion’s industry focus includes Financial Services, Business & Healthcare Services, Media, Entertainment & Technology, and Consumer & Retail. Additional information on Clarion can be found at www.Clarion-Capital.com.