George Arison of Shift joins Nick to discuss Going Public via SPACs and PIPEs, The First Mover in Ridesharing That Lost to Uber, and Building the Online Marketplace for Used Cars, Shift. In this episode, we cover:
- Walk us through your background and path to tech.
- What was the outcome of taxi magic? Shut down?
- When you spoke with Bill Gurley – rumor has it he pushed back on the model. Did you consider switching?
- What is Shift?
- How are you different than Carvana?
- How accurately can you price a car sight unseen?
- It feels like you are effectively CarMax online… If CarMax is such a good value prop for seekers and buyers, why do you think they only have a 1% market share?
- There were lots of ways you could have expanded early on… your offerings… geography… and even product/business lines (like financing)… talk us through the early decisions that were made and how they were made
- The name is great but does Gen Z get it? No one shifts anymore
- Online marketplace solving an extremely frustrating and time-consuming consumer life event but it’s a very Infrequent transaction so you need to be top of mind when someone is buying a new car or ready to make a transaction… How are you thinking about that?
- Talk about your decision to go with a SPAC to go public.
- The decision to go direct-listing would be in cases where the company is more of a household name?
- SPACs were a four-letter word in the ’90s… apparently, there were some bad situations… what is the risk here, and how has that been addressed by the modern SPAC structure?
- Do sponsors get 2% or 20% off the top?
- What was the value of the SPAC vs. the valuation of your company… were you (and other shareholders) diluted by the SPAC investment amount
- And the rest/the balance of capital comes from a PIPE, correct?
- As an investor, wouldn’t the preference be to invest in the SPAC vs. the PIPE?
- Building a company in SV or not, and where that is headed?
- What advice would you have for founders before selecting VC partners?
- What was the experience as an openly gay man building a tech company — do you think that presented a more difficult path to success?