Scott Painter

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Scott Painter
Scott Painter.jpg
BornSeptember 30, 1968 (1968-09-30) (age 51)
Alma materWest Point, University of California at Berkeley
Known forOnline auto retail entrepreneurship

Scott Painter (born September 30, 1968) is an American investor and entrepreneur in the technology and automotive industries.

In 2016, he founded Fair, Inc., a Los Angeles-based automotive financial technology company.

Previously, Painter founded and served as the CEO of TrueCar, Inc. NASDAQTRUE a negotiation-free car buying platform and analysis company.[1][2][3] Prior to TrueCar, he was the founder and CEO of, an online automotive research portal and car-buying service that introduced upfront pricing to auto retail.

He has advised a number of automotive businesses including Tesla motors.[1][2][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Painter was born in Seattle on September 30, 1968 and grew up in Placer County, California, near Sacramento.[5] He started his first company, Scott's Auto Dealing, at the age of 14.[6][7] After high school, he joined the United States Army and trained to become a Spanish interrogator.[7] He attended West Point, where he studied military strategy and systems engineering. While at West Point he served as class president before transferring to UC Berkeley where he studied political economics.[8]


Painter left UC Berkeley prior to graduation to sell his first auto-related startup company, AUTOAccess, an electronic database of used cars for sale. Prior to founding TrueCar, he initiated and was involved in other ventures.[2][5][8][9][10][11] Painter was also an early advisor to Tesla.[12][13]


Painter at race track with TrueCar Racing

In 2005, Painter founded TrueCar, Inc.NASDAQTRUE, which is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.[14] TrueCar is a negotiation-free car buying platform.[3] TrueCar provides car-buyers with a transparent insight into what other buyers have paid, upfront pricing information, and a network of TrueCar certified dealers.[15]

In August 2015, Painter stepped down as CEO.[16] He was replaced by Chip Perry as of Dec.15, 2015.[17]

Fair, Inc.[edit]

Painter’s current venture is Fair, Inc., an automotive financial technology company.

Disruption with the auto industry[edit]

In late 2011, TrueCar raised significant debt and equity capital (>$200m) which enabled it to advertise nationally on television.[18] Consumer usage increased in response to the television campaign that was developed in conjunction with TrueCar investor Guthy-Renker, but dealer and industry criticism was significant and well documented in a series of Automotive News articles.[19][20] Painter, who is commonly associated with vehicle pricing transparency, up-front pricing and the value of big data in auto retail, received pushback from auto dealers and manufacturers over the fear that TrueCar was responsible for significant retail price discounting.[21] The industry resistance led to nearly a dozen states launching investigations into the company's practices and policies.[19][21][22] As a result, Painter and TrueCar underwent a nine-month regulatory compliance overhaul and initiated industry outreach programs. TrueCar went through a business turnaround in 2012 that resulted in the company reporting in its S-1 filing that it had generated positive adjusted EBITDA in 2013 after having lost over $40 million in 2012.[20][23] In November 2012, Painter spoke directly to the industry about the current status of TrueCar in an Autoline TV interview and Painter was also recently featured in Forbes.[19][21] In November 2012, TrueCar went back on television with new commercials and a completely new version of its web experience for both dealers and consumers.[19]


The Technology Council of Southern California named Painter its 2009 and 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year.[24][25] In 2011 and 2014, he was named a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Greater Los Angeles Area.[26] Painter won the EY Award for Entrepreneur of the Year in consumer services for 2014.[26]

In 2011, Scott became a member of the Swiss non-profit organization known as the World Economic Forum.[27] In 2012, Painter was named a Technology Pioneer by the WEF.[27]

In 2011, Painter launched TrueCar Racing, an all-female racing team, co-sponsored by Penske Media Corporation and Virgin Group.[28][29] The racing team supported high-potential women aspiring to become premier race series race car drivers. TrueCar and its partners provided full sponsorship support, professional coaching and training, marketing exposure, and top-tier racing team opportunities throughout the U.S. with the goal of winning races and championships.[28]

Painter was one of the youngest members to join of the Board of Governors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Scott Painter lives in Los Angeles with his four children.[31]


  1. ^ a b David A. Kaplan (January 5, 2012). "Car shopping: A better way?". CNN Money. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Harris, D. (2006). "CarsDirect founder back, this time to aid retailers". Automotive News, 80(6206), 6. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^ a b Natalie Jarvey (2013-12-12). "TrueCar Raises $30 Million". Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  4. ^ Edward Lewine (2014-02-22). "In His Office, There's Always Cause for Celebration". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  5. ^ a b DENISE GELLENE (January 14, 2001). "Venturing Where Others Before Him Have Failed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  6. ^ Lan N. Nguyen (October 12, 2009). "How I made my first million with Scott Painter". Daily Finance. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  7. ^ a b David Hochman (2014-02-26). "TrueCar CEO Scott Painter Talks Cars, Life And Saving His Company". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  8. ^ a b "Executive Profile: Scott Painter". Bloomberg Businessweek. October 9, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  9. ^ "Scott Painter Chief Executive Officer, Zag". iMedia Connection. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  10. ^ Mark Suster (July 1, 2010). "This Week in VC – Scott Painter, CEO of Zag & TrueCar". Both Sides of the Table. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  11. ^ Dignan, L. (2003). "DUDE, YOU'RE GETTIN' A CAR". Baseline, (21), 13. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  12. ^ "How to Buy Stock in Facebook, Twitter Before They Go Public". Fox News. June 29, 2009. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  13. ^ Nauman, Matt. (2009). "DREAM MACHINE – TEST DRIVE: TESLA'S ELECTRIC – AND ELECTRIFYING – ROADSTER". San Jose Mercury News, CA. (1C). Missing or empty |url= (help)
  14. ^ Jaclyn Trop (13 January 2015). "TrueCar says app will help automakers know, target customers". Automotive News. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  15. ^ "TrueCar". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Robin Wauters (September 7, 2012). "Car Price Comparison Company TrueCar Raises $200M+, Gears Up For IPO". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  19. ^ a b c d Joann Muller (November 20, 2012). " Founder Gets A Do-Over After Almost Killing His Company". Forbes. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  20. ^ a b David Barkholz (October 15, 2012). "Scott Painter says a rebuilt TrueCar has survived brush with disaster". Automotive news. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  21. ^ a b c Jim Henry (December 13, 2011). "Emperor's New Clothes: Sticker Price, Honda And TrueCar". Forbes. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  22. ^ "TrueCar raises over $200 million in debt, equity". Reuters. September 7, 2011. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  23. ^ "TrueCar, Inc". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  24. ^ "Entrepreneur of the Year". Technology Council. 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  25. ^ "Award Recipients". Technology Council. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  26. ^ a b "EY Entrepreneur of the Year". EY. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  27. ^ a b "Scott Painter". World Economic Forum. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  28. ^ a b "Virgin Group aligns with TrueCar Racing's IndyCar program, women's initiative". Autoweek. June 13, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  29. ^ "TrueCar Racing Channel". TrueCar/YouTube. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  30. ^ Denise Gellene (January 14, 2001). "Venturing Where Others Before Him Have Failed". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  31. ^ Brant James (May 21, 2012). "New initiative is giving female drivers a chance". ESPN W. Retrieved October 10, 2012.

External links[edit]