Investors are looking to get in on the ground floor of fintechs that touch every aspect of the auto finance business, from insurance and refinancing to software and mobility.
In August alone, investment and venture capital firms shelled out $306 million in funding to auto finance innovators — $183 million of which went to U.S. fintechs. By comparison, U.S. auto startups collectively received $219.4 million in funding for all of 2020.
Here’s a look at seven auto finance fintechs that raised capital last month, plus one more with plans to raise as much as $200 million in the coming months:
Canadian online car shopping and delivery platform Canada Drives is gearing up for expansion, thanks to $100 million in new funding. Canada Drives is scaling up to double the 1,000 used vehicles for sale on its platform in Ontario and British Columbia. It also plans to expand its online car-buying and same-day delivery service to new markets and add more than 200 people to its team.
Atlanta-based startup Carputty snared $7.2 million in seed funding to jumpstart its direct lending platform, which provides flexible lines of credit to finance auto purchases. The platform factors into its analysis future expectations for a consumer’s credit score, income and assets, and approves a specific line of credit — from $25,000 to $200,000 — which could be used to purchase or refinance a vehicle. The Carputty Flexline credit line allows consumers to consolidate multiple car payments into one. With its newfound funds, Carputty plans to expand staffing, marketing and product innovations.
Newbie fintech software platform FUSE Autotech has secured $10 million in a series A round led by Target Global. FUSE Autotech, founded last year, is a cloud-based AI predictive finance management system that automates the auto purchase and finance experience. The company is processing nearly $1 billion in vehicle transactions per year and will use the new funds to expand its product and R&D teams.
Refinancing platform iLending raised $35 million in a transaction led by First Eagle Alternative Credit LLC. Founded in 2006 and available nationwide, iLending handles the entire loan process, including finding the best rates, paying off the previous lender and retitling the vehicle. The company will use the new capital to ramp up hiring, develop nearshore partnerships and open a new office.
Mobility fintech Moove, which is Uber’s exclusive vehicle financing and vehicle supply partner in sub-Saharan Africa, secured $23 million in series A funding. The Lagos, Nigeria-based company was created with the goal of democratizing vehicle ownership in Africa; in 2019, the continent was home to 1.3 billion people and had 900,000 new-vehicle sales. Moove’s model provides loans to customers by selling them new vehicles and financing up to 95% of the purchase within five days of signup. Moove customers can repay their loans over 24, 36 or 48 months using a percentage of their weekly revenue. The recent funding will allow Moove to expand its footprint and develop new products and services.
MotoRefi’s $5 million series C capital infusion from Curql Fund enabled the auto refinancing fintech to become a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO). This new designation should help MotoRefi increase the number of lenders on its platform. The August investment comes on the heels of a $45 million funding round in May. MotoRefi won the 2021 DEMOvation Challenge at the Auto Finance Innovation Summit.
Auto e-commerce platform Carvana plans to add insurance to its online car-buying platform with a $126 million investment in Root Inc. Through data and technology, Root bases rates primarily on how people drive. It uses telematics-based solutions to develop accurate pricing models and risk assessments.
Meanwhile, Indian auto marketplace Droom is in the process of raising as much as $200 million as it preps for an initial public offering next year. The Gurgaon-based company operates a marketplace to help people buy and sell used cars and motorcycles across India. The startup provides verified listings for buyers, along with tools to view, schedule, negotiate and communicate with the seller. For their part, sellers are provided with tools to manage their listings, estimate prices and dispute issues. The startup, which competes with other Indian firms, including Spinny and Cars24, said it is working to file for an IPO and list on either Nasdaq or in India in 2022.
Auto Finance Summit, the premier industry event, returns October 27-29 in Las Vegas. The Summit continues to bring together the best and brightest in the industry year after year for unparalleled networking and professional education. To learn more about the 2021 event and register, visit www.AutoFinanceSummit.com.