AutoFi valuation approaches $700M with SCUSA investment
Fueled in part by an auto finance company that’s been one of its clients since 2018, AutoFi announced on Monday it has closed $85 million in funding valuing the company at nearly $700 million.
One of the first Emerging 8 honorees and commerce platform for digital automotive sales and financing said the funding included participation from investors Santander Holdings USA, SVB Financial Group, the parent of Silicon Valley Bank, and Crosslink Capital.
“We are humbled to have some of the world’s leading financial institutions share our vision to bring innovation to automotive commerce,” AutoFi chief executive officer and co-founder Kevin Singerman said in a news release. “Finance is a critical part of how people buy and sell vehicles and continues to be a main source of friction in the automotive retail process. Finance must be more integrated into digital experiences.
“With this additional capital we will double down on our mission to bring joy and trust in this market by enabling banks, captives and specialty finance companies to better support the massive transition of offline to online commerce,” Singerman continued.
The company plans to accelerate its investment in its engineering and customer-facing teams.
With four consecutive years of 100% revenue growth, AutoFi said it more than doubled the size of its staff in 2021 to 220 employees. AutoFi’s platform processed more than 1 million automotive financing requests that resulted in more than $3 billion in vehicle sales in 2021.
The company said the investment will further innovation in transformative retailing experiences like AutoFi’s new “RealPayments” offering.
This cloud-based pricing platform can allow auto finance companies to extend their decisioning and pricing capabilities into point-of-search shopping experiences. In seconds, consumers can be pre-qualified for financing and see their actual price and monthly payment across thousands of vehicles.
“No more uncertainty for the consumer and seller on what they can afford and their final monthly payment. RealPayments is one of the most exciting innovations in auto finance in decades,” AutoFi said.
It’s that capability that’s exciting one of the investors and current clients, Santander Consumer USA, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Santander Holdings USA.
Coinciding with the investment, SCUSA announced the expansion of its partnership with AutoFi.
According to a separate news release, the new SCUSA digital experience will include mobile, desktop and in-dealership tools to identify vehicles on a dealer’s lot that fit a consumer’s budget, as well as specifications to complete deals — streamlining the financing process and allowing consumers to shop for a vehicle however, wherever and whenever they want.
SCUSA highlighted the consumer digital experience will bring new “transaction-ready” vehicle shoppers to its dealers by enabling consumers to preview a dealer’s inventory online and identify vehucke they want and can afford, before they visit the dealership.
Santander Consumer USA president and CEO, Mahesh Aditya said, “Our new digital product suite will connect dealers, consumers and vehicles more effectively than ever before. By personalizing and streamlining the car buying process, everyone wins. Shoppers see exactly what they can purchase, and dealers can self-service each deal to meet the needs of their customers.
“AutoFi is leading the digital evolution of car buying by combining innovation in automotive finance and retailing,” Aditya continued. “We want to help dealers sell as many vehicles as possible, and AutoFi’s platform makes it easier for dealers to do business with Santander Consumer, connecting them more efficiently and effectively with consumers, helping complete transactions faster and bringing finance innovation into the car buying process. We are privileged to be part of AutoFi’s growth story.”
Singerman added these perspectives about the AutoFi client since 2018 that also expanded the working relationship last summer.
“Santander is a global leader in auto finance, and we are excited to expand our partnership with them on this digital experience,” Singerman said. “Both organizations share a deep passion for applying financial technology innovation to make both the car buying and selling process a trustworthy and joyful experience.”
Aditya also credited the work by Singerman and AutoFi co-founder and chief Technology Officer Mandar Gokhale, who “have created a very efficient platform that we believe will take the dealer and customer experience to a whole new level. We are very excited about our future with AutoFi.”