Australian Startup Eyes Foray Into U.S. Market | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

Australian Startup Eyes Foray Into U.S. Market

Photo by Joey Pizzolato

SAN DIEGO — CarDeals2Me, an Australian startup that provides car buyers with a price quote that expires within 24 hours, is looking to enter the American market — once it secures a lender partner.

“We’re grazing around to hit the U.S. market,” said Chief Executive Shaun Sumaru during the Auto Finance Innovation Summit here today. “Our play for the American market is to launch initially in the California and Texas regions, and what we’re looking for is finance partners who want to own these consumers as they head through the funnel.”

CarDeals2Me targets car buyers who are in the “last mile” of their journey. The company launched in 2017  with financiers and OEMs in Australia and New Zealand; it added Canadian operations last year.

Here’s how the product works: A consumer downloads the app, chooses a car, and applies for financing with one of the startup’s lender partners. The consumer receives a quote for the new or used car, with the option to receive an offer on a trade-in. In Australia, CarDeals2Me offers a dealership-to-door delivery option.

That price quote, Shaun noted, lasts only 24 hours, so “in the consumer’s eyes, it’s ‘Will I get a better deal today’ or have they just lost the best deal?” That pressure on the consumer to make a decision contributes to the app’s “high conversion rate,” he said.

In Australia, Mercedes-Benz dealers provide most of the app’s leads in terms of price requests and the highest conversion rates. Half of users who are verified in the system purchase a car using the app within three days, and 20% buy a car within three weeks. Additionally, the startup sees an average of 515 leads per day in Australia and about 320 per day in Canada.

“What we see is we have someone who has a budget for a Mazda but they want to know if they can afford that Mercedes,” Sumaru said. If the Mercedes is within $8,000 of the purchase range, “from what our data tells us, they’re going to go for the fancy car,” he added.

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