painter scott 400

Auto subscription pioneer is to set to reduce staffing levels as it focuses on its core subscription business.

The company, which is backed by SoftBank and has a partnership with Uber, has pioneered the car subscription market, offering customers the option to lease used vehicles using a smartphone app for an inclusive price including insurance and maintenance.

Fair has raised around half a billion dollars in equity and more than $1.5 billion in debt, while building up a fleet of 50,000 vehicles.

Media reports suggest that while Fair is making inroads in building the subscription model, funder SoftBank has come under pressure to improve profitability across its portfolio, after serious financial problems hit another of its investments, WeWork.

Media reports quoted founder and chief executive Scott Painter saying: “I’ve decided to focus the company’s resources on strengthening Fair’s core technology and reducing costs associated with the capital-intensive supply side of our business. Going forward, Fair will be a smaller team, focused on doing fewer things well.”

Amongst those leaving the company is Painter’s brother, Tyler, who is chief financial officer. He is being replaced in the interim by Kirk Shryoc.

The company said in a separate statement: “As Fair has grown, the skill sets needed to drive the business forward change. Kirk has a decade of experience running treasury and capital markets for large fleet companies and is well known on the capital markets side.

“We’ve been working with him over the course of this year and given our renewed focus on our acquisition and financing approach, now was the right time to ask him to step in to manage our upstream banking relationships and the fleet management.”

Painter’s memo indicated there may be longer term plans to take the company public.

He also indicated the rate of growth would slow in the short term. In its earlier stages, Fair was expanding to one new US city per month. In September it purchased rival Canvas from Ford for an undisclosed sum.