VANCOUVER, British Columbia –
PowerBand Solutions continued its recent stretch of development activity on Monday by announcing it’s accepting an additional $2.7 million investment from Texas-based D&P Holdings as it prepares vehicle lease originations in the United States to begin this month.
PowerBand chief executive officer Kelly Jennings said the company has completed its mission that’s taken more than two years to offer a cloud-based platform aimed at transforming how consumers buy, sell, lease and finance vehicles. Jennings explained the platform removes “unnecessary middlemen” in the automotive retail sector and offers cloud-based solutions, allowing automotive transactions to be carried out from any location on smartphones and other devices.
The company indicated the latest capital injection from D&P will assist PowerBand’s U.S. leasing platform — MUSA Auto Finance (MUSA) — to begin offering leases in June, which Jennings says will “make it as easy to acquire a car with PowerBand as it is buying a product on Amazon.”
The investment will also be used to launch PowerBand’s consumer app, Driveaway, that can enable people across the United States to access virtual auctions to buy and sell used vehicles, from dealers and directly between consumers. Driveaway will offer consumers and commercial partners a wider auction audience to ensure the value of their vehicles is recognized, eliminate the cost of transporting vehicles to physical auction lots and charges fees only upon success.
“This is a milestone month for PowerBand, as we prepare to offer extensive credit facility agreements, from major US financial institutions, on our U.S. leasing platform, MUSA,” Jennings said in a news release. “We are preparing to begin U.S. lease originations in June.”
“I’m also delighted this additional investment from D&P minimizes dilution to our shareholders, who I want to thank for their unwavering patience and support as we now complete our two-year mission to deliver consumers, dealers and other commercial enterprises a powerful digital platform that eliminates unnecessary middlemen,” Jennings continued.
“PowerBand will allow consumers to buy, sell, lease or finance their vehicles on a smartphone or other digital device, from any location, as easily as they buy a product on Amazon. This is the digital innovation solution the automotive industry desperately needs, particularly as it emerges from the retail challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jennings went on to say.
D&P, which works directly with more than 850 dealerships in all 50 states, is one of the largest administrators of automotive warranty and insurance products in the United States. To date, it has invested $6 million in PowerBand.
“Our latest investment — part of our decision to invest up to USD $10 million in PowerBand as a whole — reflects our confidence that PowerBand’s cloud-based platform will transform how Americans buy, sell, lease and finance their vehicles,” D&P chief executive officer John Armstrong said.
“This is game-changing technology for the sector, particularly as automotive dealers look for ways to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. D&P will also be offering consumers automotive insurance products on the PowerBand transaction platform, yet another benefit for consumers,” Armstrong went on to say.
MUSA, which is 60% owned by PowerBand, is already working with RouteOne. As a result of its proprietary technology, MUSA was awarded a contract by Tesla Motors to become a national leasing partner in 2018.
Driveaway is a smartphone-based app that is being piloted by D2D Auto Auctions. D2D is co-owned in a 50-50 partnership by PowerBand and Arkansas-based financier Bryan Hunt, director of J.B Hunt Transport.