AutoFi is looking to expand its purchase experience to facilitate more in-person transactions and to be more configurable across different franchise dealerships, Chief Executive Kevin Singerman told Auto Finance News.
The growth plans come on the heels of a Series B investment in AutoFi by BMW i Ventures, the auto maker’s venture capital fund that invests money and resources in automotive startups. The investment fund had been tracking AutoFi for the past two years, Singerman said, adding that it “could bring a lot of value outside of just capital to the company, with their industry relationships and the companies that they work with in their portfolio.” Singerman declined to disclose any details regarding the amount of the funding round that closed Feb. 13. According to Crunchbase, the fintech has raised $29.5 million in funding since 2016.
The San Francisco-based fintech connects dealerships with lenders and car buyers online. As AutoFi grows its lender and dealer partners — currently it has 20 different OEM brands and more than 800 dealerships total — there has been a need to expand beyond its core online platform for dealers.
“Our dealers are pulling our purchase experience into the store now more, and they want to be able to use this, not only for their out-of-store customers but their in-store customers,” Singerman said. “We’ll be focusing a lot more of our product development, how we build out our purchase experience, for the in-store customer.”
One challenge of building out a digital, in-store product will be incorporating dealer sales reps while maintaining the consumer benefits of the home-purchase experience, Singerman said. Another will be bolstering the platform’s capacity and flexibility, to “handle many of the different use cases” that can occur with an increase in volume, as the product evolves to serve in-store customers in addition to online consumers.
Part of maximizing configurability across different brands includes ensuring all rebates and incentives are integrated correctly online, handling the nuances of taxes and fees in every jurisdiction, and supporting the seasonal pricing programs of OEMs, Singerman said, without providing additional details.
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