Fort Worth-based consumer auto finance company receives investment from private equity group

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Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

Clarion Capital Partners announced Sept. 15  its completion of a strategic investment in Fort Worth-based OpenRoad, a 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.

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.

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.

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OpenRoad was recently recognized by Inc. Magazine as the 37th fastest-growing private company in America. They were a four-time national winner of “Best and Brightest Places to Work.”

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.”

Clarion Capital Partners is a New York based private equity firm that focuses on making equity investments in lower middle market growth companies.

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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.