Peer to peer used car portal Beepi.com has gone from strength to strength this year raising $150M in funding and operating in Arizona, California, Florida, New York, and Washington as well as the greater Washington D.C. area. But things seem to have taken a turn for the worse with the company announcing this week a plan to shut down in “non-profitable markets outside of California”, laying off 180 workers and merging with a not-yet-launched venture called Fair.com.
In a statement Beepi was optimistic about the merger, saying “it’s joining forces with automotive industry veterans to integrate dealers into Beepi’s digital car-buying platform.” Those veterans include Georg Bauer, formerly of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Tesla; Scott Painter, formerly of TrueCar; and Fedor Artiles, formerly of Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Volkswagen, and Tesla.
But according to TechCrunch.com, the move was prompted by a loss of key strategic investors out of China.
Concerns have also been raised about the difference between Beepi and Fair’s business models. Fair’s business model includes car dealers selling on its site, while Beepi’s was based on consumers buying and selling cars between themselves.
However, in a statement on Fortune.com’s website, Beepi states that it plans to address these issues:
“The number one objective will be to scale the business profitably while also integrating dealer partners. Beepi will shift its focus by tapping into a ready supply of high-quality cars for customers, and its infrastructure will be well positioned to deliver in a radically different way that modern customers have grown accustomed to.”
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