Chrome Capital set to expand with $20M investment

Publish Date: 
Aug 13, 2013
By Mary Slepicka

NAPLES, Fla. - Motorcycle leasing company Chrome Capital today announced it has received a $20 million credit facility to support further expansion of the company's TestRide lease program through Harley-Davidson dealerships.

Chrome Capital's lease program for pre-owned motorcycles is available to Harley dealers in 36 states. Peter Wasmer, CEO of Chrome Capital, told Dealernews the new funding will enable the company to begin offering the program to dealers in additional states. "In 2012 Chrome signed over 200 dealers, and we anticipate adding 25 to 50 additional dealers each quarter," he said. "We expect to bring on California, New York and a number of other states later this year to boost the expansion."

The $20 million credit facility is being provided by a private specialty finance firm, Comvest Partners of West Palm Beach, Fla, and will provide the "liquidity available to support dealers' sales," Wasmer said. 

Given that Chrome Capital is still considered a young company, Wasmer said the private credit facility from Comvest was an important "stage one" that establishes the basis for future funding projects. Wasmer said this current round is likely the first in a series of funding moves to support the company's expansion, and to expect announcements of additional credit facilities that may be three to four times that size in about six months.

Chrome Capital is led by Wasmer, Stephen J. Swain (CFO) and Brian Cramer (vice president of dealer development and marketing).

"Chrome Capital's management team has created a unique offering that has been widely accepted by the dealer community and riders around the country in a short period of time," said Jason Gelberd, managing director at Comvest Partners. "Their proprietary systems support its expansion and give it scalable trajectory."

Chrome Capital's TestRide program allows customers to ride a pre-owned Harley for a specified time (usually two to four years) with no further obligation. When the TestRide lease comes to an end, the customer can renew the lease, purchase the vehicle or return it to the dealership. It can be a solution for customers who otherwise would not qualify for purchase financing or who don't wish to to be tied to a multi-year loan for a motorcycle purchase.

For the dealer, it increases the ability to turn pre-owned inventory and add customers who otherwise might have walked out the door. "The nature of the ... lease creates a very predictable recurring customer and inventory," Wasmer said. " The TestRider comes back to the dealer at the end of the lease to either purchase [a] bike or lease another -- something traditional finance doesn't necessarily provide."