At 10-year mark, CarLotz goes public
Nearing its 10-year anniversary, CarLotz, a used-cars consignment company founded in Chesterfield County, went public on Friday.
In October 2020, CarLotz first announced it would merge with special purpose acquisition company Miami-based Acamar Partners Acquisition Corp. — a deal that was approved by stockholders Jan. 8 and closed Friday. The company, which is valued at $827 million, is now listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LOTZ.
Founded in 2011 by Richmond-area entrepreneurs Michael Bor, Aaron Montgomery and Will Boland, CarLotz opened its first store in Midlothian and later expanded to Henrico County, Chesapeake and Richmond, where its current headquarters are located.
“We always knew we were on to something and we knew we could continue growing it as long as we had the team and the resources to keep growing it,” Bor says. For the 2019 fiscal year, CarLotz reported more than $102 million in revenue and $81 million for the nine months ending on Sept. 30, 2020. The company has not yet released its fiscal 2020 revenues.
Now with eight locations across Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Texas and Illinois, CarLotz still has growth in mind. As the company goes public, Bor says its goal is to open three to four new retail locations each quarter for the next few years, having already announced expansions in Seattle and Orlando, Florida. Bor says the company also has an eye on expanding in the Northeast, Florida, Texas, the Midwest and California.
Despite plans for major growth, Bor says he anticipates keeping CarLotz headquartered in the Richmond region for the long run.
“It’s been a great market for us. We find a tremendous amount of talent. … Everything we need we can find here,” Bor says, giving “big thanks to the commonwealth of Virginia for just being a great place to do business.”
CarLotz currently employs 160 people (70 in Virginia), with 50 working at its corporate headquarters. Bor says the company’s number of corporate employees will reach approximately 100 during the next several months and he anticipates CarLotz will open one or two additional locations in Virginia, which on average employ 10 to 20 people.
“Virginia is not fully built out. We’re at full capacity in Virginia and we need more space,” Bor says. “We’re actively looking both for corporate space and for new hubs or property that would enable us to have a larger physical location.”
CarLotz also has a commercial side, helping re-market cars for leasing companies, financial institutions and fleet management companies. In 2019, CarLotz made the Inc. 5000, ranking No. 435 on the list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
At a “town hall” with his corporate employees Friday morning, Bor reflected on what going public would mean for the company and was reminded of the startup-like approach that is required each time CarLotz opens a new location.
“Starting a new business in a new location — that’s an extension of this startup that we built 10 years ago,” Bor says. “We’re going to face a lot of new challenges … but we’ve got an awesome team to do it.”