Car leasing app Fair raises $500 million loan from Mizuho, Softbank

(Reuters) - Car leasing startup Fair said on Tuesday it had raised $500 million in loans from a group of creditors, including Mizuho Bank and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, as it looks to expand its leasing services to Uber drivers.

Founded in 2016, Santa Monica, California-based Fair, raised $385 million in a SoftBank-led funding round in December 2018.

SoftBank has stakes in Uber Technologies Inc, General Motors Co and its Cruise self-driving car, China’s Didi Chuxing, South-east Asia’s biggest ride-hailing firm Grab, and India’s Ola.

These holdings reflect SoftBank’s growing influence in the emerging fields of AI and autonomous driving, driven by its investments through the nearly $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund.

Fair has partnered with Uber to rent out cars to users who want to drive for the ride-sharing company.

“Too often, people who want to drive for Uber can’t get reasonable rates on a car loan or even get access to one at all, so we’re taking care of that for them,” Fair founder and chief executive officer Scott Painter said.

Fair allows drivers to lease cars from various auto-dealers without signing long-term or fixed-term contracts.

Reporting by Dominic Roshan K.L. in Bengaluru