SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Vroom.com

Vroom is a New York City-based used car retailer and e-commerce company that enables consumers to buy and finance cars online. The company was founded in August of 2013 by Kevin Westfall and Scott Chesrown. To date, Vroom has raised over $440 million in Private Equity, it has a refurbishment facility in Stafford and was included on Forbes’ list of the Hottest E-Commerce Startups of 2015. Vroom’s CEO is Paul Hennessy, the CEO of Priceline.com. In December 2015, the company acquired Texas Direct Auto, a Houston-based company founded in 2002, now owned by Vroom but operates as a separate brand; the combined company is profitable and reached $900 million in revenue in 2015. In February 2018, Vroom closed operations in its Whitestown, Indiana facility and laid off 25% of its staff in the New York City and Stafford, Texas locations. In December 2018, Vroom closed a Series G financing round of $146 million led by AutoNation and began scaling its operations again. Rather than functioning as a peer-to-peer marketplace, Vroom is an e-commerce service that handles the entire transaction with no haggle pricing.

The company delivers cars to customers nationwide. All cars that Vroom sells are reconditioned and the company uses proprietary RFID tracking and prioritization software to automate the refurbishment process. Vroom provides a seven-day money back guarantee on a 90-day bumper-to-bumper warranty. Vroom buys cars from customers, who can receive a cash voucher after submitting photos and information about the car online. Vroom has raised $440 million in total funding. Investors include AutoNation, L Catterton, General Catalyst Partners, Allen & Company, T. Rowe Price, John Elway, Steve Berrard, Jeffery Boyd, Bob Mylod, Dan Gilbert. Official Website

Star Pisces

MS Star Pisces is a cruise ship, owned by Star Cruises and does short cruises from Hong Kong. She was built as the cruiseferry MS Kalypso in 1990 at Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland for Rederi AB Slite for use in Viking Line traffic; the ship was designed by Per Dockson. Star Pisces has Pearl Seaways; the late 1980s were a time of hectic new building in Baltic Sea ferry services. Between 1985 and 1991 no less than 11 new ships debuted for competing companies Viking Line and Silja Line. During construction of the Kalypso in 1989 the shipbuilding company Wärtsilä Marine was declared bankrupt. A new company, Masa-Yards, was established to continue operating Wärtsilä's shipyards in Turku and Helsinki; as a result of the bankruptcy the Kalypso's final price was much larger than agreed. When delivered on April 30, 1990, the Kalypso entered traffic on the route connecting Turku to Mariehamn and Stockholm, where she sailed without mishap for the next three years. 1993 was to be the year when Slite would take delivery of another newbuild, the largest ferry in the world, M/S Europa.

However, the Swedish krona was devaluated shortly before Slite were supposed to take delivery of the new ship. The Europa ended up in rival Silja Line's fleet in March 1993, in April Rederi AB Slite was declared bankrupt; as a result of Slite's bankruptcy and her sister were sold at an auction in August 1993. Bids were made by SF Line, P&O Ferries and DFDS, but the final buyer emerged from Malaysia where the newly established Star Cruises bought both ships; the Kalypso, the last ship delivered to Rederi AB Slite, stayed in Viking Line's traffic until January 1994. After the end of her service for Viking Line, the Kalypso sailed to Naantali, Finland where she was docked and renamed MS Star Pisces. In the same month she sailed to Finnyards, Finland, where she was rebuilt as a cruise ship. In April 1994 the ship began operating cruises from Singapore; the ship sported a dark blue hull with a narrow red band on top, changed into all-white, matching the livery of other Star Cruises' ships. She was moved to making day and night cruises from Hong Kong.

In May 2009 the ship suspended her sailings from Hong Kong and was laid up at Hong Kong moved to Port Klang for further lay up. In February 2010, she was reactivated for cruising out of Penang, she finished her deployment in Penang by the end of December 2010 and was refurbished in Singapore in January 2011. Star Pisces received hull art, being the first ship to feature hull art in the Star Cruises fleet, she returned to Hong Kong to offer daily high sea cruises in late February 2011. Star Pisces entered drydock for major renovation in February 2013. Media related to IMO 8710857 at Wikimedia Commons M/S Kalypso on Fakta om Fartyg Star Pisces on Star Cruises