By Trade X
The new capital will fuel TRADE X’s growth strategy and drive forward its mission of eliminating barriers to buying and selling pre-owned vehicles across international borders.
TORONTO – July 27, 2021 – Trade X Group of Companies Inc. (TRADE X), a global B2B cross-border automotive trading platform, today announced that it has received an equity investment of C$44 million, or US$35 million, from Aimia Inc. (TSX: AIM), a Toronto-based holding company that invests in public and private companies globally. An additional US$10 million of convertible preferred shares may be issued by TRADE X to other strategic investors in a subsequent closing, to be held no later than August 6, 2021, to achieve the company’s target round size of US$45 million. TRADE X will use the new growth capital for strategic acquisitions, and to expand its cross-border platform for pre-owned vehicle trading to car dealers, fleet, rental and mobility solution providers, as well as importers and exporters across North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
TRADE X simplifies the process of buying and selling pre-owned vehicles internationally via its platform, accessible 24/7 via mobile, tablet or desktop. The platform handles all processes, procedures and documentation to ensure each transaction is compliant, insured and monitored from start to finish. The fully integrated platform is powered by TRADE X’s proprietary ‘Brain’ technology, using machine learning and artificial intelligence to enhance the user experience.
Users can search for and request specific vehicles, view global pricing analytics, post vehicles for sale, assess economic viability, leverage arbitrage opportunities, obtain trade financing and transact in the currency of their choice. TRADE X handles all quality checks, international payments, transport, logistics, retitling, engaging registered importers, homologation, customs clearance and speedometer conversion across borders, effectively eliminating each complicated step previously being the responsibility of the buyer to handle manually. TRADE X pays sellers instantly in local currency, plus local tax, and all transactions are conducted securely and compliantly. Users must undergo a strict onboarding process to verify licenses, tax ID and compliance with commercial regulations, and only after all information is approved and verified are they granted access to the TRADE X authorized network. By standing as the trusted third-party escrow, TRADE X provides peace of mind and security for all users, whether they are trading within their own continent or overseas.
Led by auto industry veterans, Founder and CEO Ryan Davidson and Executive Vice President and COO Luciano Butera, TRADE X is set to disrupt cross-border trading in the pre-owned vehicle industry. For the 12 months ending December 31, 2020, TRADE X achieved gross vehicle sales of C$65 million. Gross vehicle sales for the six months to June 30, 2021, were C$77 million, generating positive EBITDA. With recent sales volume activity demonstrating strong momentum, sales are expected to trend higher in the second half of 2021.
“The overriding global need for a unified automotive trading platform has never been greater”, said TRADE X’s Ryan Davidson. “With this additional funding, we will expand our reach across multiple continents, connecting buyers and sellers beyond their borders to accelerate inventory turnover and boost profits substantially.”
TRADE X’s Luciano Butera commented: “There are multiple obstacles to international vehicle trade: Buyers and sellers often have no real way to find each other, buyers have no or very limited access to trade finance to pay sellers up front, and most importantly, there is a distinct lack of trust when doing business across borders. TRADE X solves all of these issues, providing an integrated, fully transparent and most importantly, compliant end-to-end global solution for pre-owned vehicle transactions.”
The financing round was completed at a pre-money valuation of ~$C314 million (US$250 million). As part of the transaction, Aimia’s CEO, Phil Mittleman, will join TRADE X’s Board of Directors.
“We are very pleased to lead this funding round for TRADE X. Their proprietary TRADE X ‘Brain’ technology allows users to trade vehicles cross-border with greater ease, and less transactional risk than ever before,” said Aimia’s Phil Mittleman. “Already having achieved EBITDA profitability, TRADE X boasts a blue-chip client base, and is growing at a remarkable rate as it expands its market reach to other countries. We are proud to partner with TRADE X as they continue to grow their business organically, and through acquisitions.”
TRADE X’s new equity funding follows a round of capital secured in February 2021: a senior secured revolving line of credit of US$50 million, including an accordion to expand up to US$100 million provided by a global asset management firm with over US$100 billion in assets under management.
About TRADE X
With headquarters based in Ontario, Canada, TRADE X is the first global vehicle marketplace to aggregate cross-border supply and demand for car dealers, fleet, rental, and mobility solution providers, as well as importers and exporters, opening new trading corridors to buy and sell vehicles. The TRADE X ‘Brain’ platform is a machine-learning, AI-driven technology that connects buyers and sellers through a transparent and highly effective marketplace that aids sellers in finding the world’s highest bidders and gives buyers access to the best source markets. Users benefit from the global network from opportunities to capitalize on price arbitrage where global markets command higher vehicle prices. TRADE X enables users to seamlessly transact online in a quick and secure environment with all the complexities of international trade – compliance, anti-money laundering regulations, vehicle inspection, currency exchange, digital trade documentation, payments and financing – all managed by TRADE X. The company serves authorized buyers and sellers everywhere with a user-friendly app available 24/7 via mobile, tablet or desktop. TRADE X’s largest investors include Aimia Inc., a publicly traded holding company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: AIM), with a focus on long-term investments in public and private companies, on a global basis, through controlling or minority stakes. To learn more about TRADE X, please visit: www.tradexport.com.
Aimia Inc. (TSX: AIM) is a holding company with a focus on long-term investments in public and private companies, on a global basis, through controlling or minority stakes. The company operates an investment advisory business through its wholly-owned subsidiary Mittleman Investment Management, LLC, and owns a diversified portfolio of investments including a 48.9% equity stake in PLM Premier, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (PLM), owner and operator of Club Premier, the coalition loyalty program in Mexico that operates the Aeromexico Frequent Flyer program, a 48.7% equity stake in Kognitiv, a B2B technology growth company enabling collaborative commerce, a 12.7% equity stake in TRADE X, a global B2B cross-border automotive trading platform, a 10.85% stake in Clear Media Limited (100.HK), one of the largest outdoor advertising firms in China, as well as minority stakes in various public company securities. For more information about Aimia, visit www.aimia.com
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Aimia and TRADE X considers “gross vehicle sales” and “EBITDA” as useful information in measuring the financial performance and condition of TRADE X. Such measures do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) and therefore may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies, nor should it be construed as an alternative to financial measures determined in accordance with IFRS.
This press release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities laws (“forward-looking statements”), which are based upon our current expectations, estimations, projections, assumptions and beliefs. All information that is not clearly historical in nature may constitute forward-looking statements. In some cases, forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of terms such as such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “plan”, “predict”, “project”, “will”, “would”, and “should”. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to our current and future plans, expectations and intentions.
Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are based on assumptions and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the forward-looking statement may not occur. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date hereof and reflect several material factors, expectations and assumptions. Undue reliance should not be placed on any predictions or forward-looking statements as these may be affected by, among other things, changing external events and general uncertainties of the business.
A discussion of the material risks applicable to Aimia can be found in Aimia’s current Management Discussion and Analysis and Annual Information Form, each of which have been or will be filed on SEDAR and can be accessed at www.sedar.com. Except as required by applicable securities laws, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and we disclaim any intention and assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Director, Investor Relations