FlipRide startup launches auto loan smartphone app

Catie Clark//July 22, 2020

FlipRide startup launches auto loan smartphone app

Catie Clark//July 22, 2020

The entryway to the FlipRide offices.
The entryway to the FlipRide offices. Photo by Catie Clark

Necessity is the mother of invention, as the old cliche goes. But sayings become cliches for good reasons. In the case of FlipRide, a Boise start-up, its founders saw the need for provide loans for the private sales of vehicles.

“We saw a big void in the ability of private parties to obtain auto loans from traditional lenders,” explained co-founder Travis Hawkes. “Dave Gardner and I both have years of experience in auto loans. So we observed that 30% of used-car transactions are between private parties, outside of a dealership. Yet there is a lot of friction from traditional lenders to get loans for these purchases. Seeing that need is what motivated us to start FlipRide.”

FlipRide announced the launch of its mobile app on July 14. The app is targeted at the private sales of vehicles.

“It’s hard for buyers to easily get a loan, and it’s hard for sellers to navigate the paperwork and title transfer,” Hawkes said. “FlipRide solves all of this in minutes while ensuring security and transparency.” 

From the free FlipRide mobile app, its users can buy or sell a car, get a car loan, transfer a title and create a sales agreement in minutes. 

“Our third partner is Ricky Lyman,” Hawkes stated. “He comes from a software background and oversaw the tech build. Right now, there are the three of us plus four full-time employees who developed the app. We’re hiring another developer and also a customer service lead.”

“The timing with the pandemic has actually been good for us,” Hawkes remarked. “Because of layoffs, there’s some really great talent available to hire right now in Boise. We’ve been able to get some really talented people to work with us.”

StageDotO's building at 110 Main in Boise, home to FlipRide's offices.
StageDotO’s building at 110 Main in Boise, home to FlipRide’s offices. Photo by Catie Clark

FlipRide was funded by StageDotO Ventures, which has invested in several Boise-based start-ups, and has offices in StageDotO’s building at 110 Main in downtown Boise. The company shares the building with three other new firms supported by StageDotO.

“Our seed round was in the fall of 2019, and we were fully invested by StageDotO,” Hawkes remarked.

FlipRide launched its app in the Apple App Store and the Android Marketplace in June. It currently supports transactions in Idaho, though the company plans to expand its availability to states throughout the western U.S. during the current calendar year. 

The app is designed to remove the hassle of buying or selling a car outside of a dealership by walking its users through the transaction, ensuring that the purchase is safe, legitimate and easy for both parties. Features built into the app include secure mobile payment with the option for a cash down payment if it works for both parties. Sellers receive payment directly deposited through Automated Clearing House payment services.

Buyers can pay digitally, eliminating the need to carry cash, or with a check. Buyers can also get approved for a competitive loan from a trusted bank or credit union.

The app will also provide ID verification for parties in the transaction. It will also transfer the car title without the need to make a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

“Technology is changing the way people buy and sell cars to each other, but the friction still remains when it comes to getting a loan, transferring the title and ensuring legal compliance,” said Michael Self, managing partner of StageDotO Ventures. “FlipRide’s technology and the team behind it solve these problems and make it easier for private party transactions, ultimately saving the consumer time and money.”