Clarion Capital Partners announced on September 15 the completion of a strategic investment in the Fort Worth-based company Open road, a consumer auto finance company.
OpenRoad co-founders Chris Goodman, Jeff Austin and Joseph Everly will continue their respective roles as CEO, CFO and CTO. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
OpenRoad Lending is a direct-to-consumer online auto finance company focused primarily on refinancing. OpenRoad helps consumers with all types of credit in 44 states and remains one of the nation’s largest direct lenders for auto loans.
Founded in 2009 by the same executives who started RoadLoans, OpenRoad partners with banks, credit unions and institutional investors to enable consumers to refinance their existing car loans, reduce interest rates and earn significant monthly savings.
OpenRoad was recently recognized by Inc. Magazine as the 37th fastest growing privately held company in America. They have been four times nationally awarded “Best and Best Places to Work”.
OpenRoad is currently focusing all of its efforts on automatic refinancing. Through its partnership with Clarion, OpenRoad plans to capitalize on its market position and explore other lines of business, such as car loans, lease buyouts, insurance automotive and other consumer verticals. OpenRoad will also leverage this investment to expand its marketing channels and grow both organically and through acquisition.
“Over the past 12 years, we’ve built a formidable operation known for saving customers money and providing a convenient, modern online experience,” said Goodman. “We expect the demand for auto refinancing to continue to increase as smart consumers look for ways to cut back on their spending. This, combined with the acceleration of digital lending adoption, will drive significant growth for OpenRoad. We are delighted to partner with Clarion and benefit from their extraordinary expertise, resources and network to grow our business, while providing the best financing experience in the market. “
Clarion Capital Partners is a New York-based private equity firm focused on acquiring stakes in lower-middle market growth companies.
In connection with the transaction, Colonnade Securities LLC acted as the exclusive financial advisor to OpenRoad. Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, PC acted as legal counsel for OpenRoad. Clarion has received legal advice from Akerman LLP and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, PC. Funding for the transaction was provided by funds managed by Madison Capital Funding and PennantPark Investment Advisers, LLC.