Within a week of expanding its financial commitment to Carvana, Ally Financial made a move with another company in the digital-retailing space: Vroom.

On Tuesday, the ecommerce platform for buying and selling used vehicles announced an extension of its $450 million inventory financing agreement with Ally.

According to a news release, Ally has provided Vroom with floorplan financing since 2016. The amendment extends the original agreement from March 2021 to September 2022.

“We have seen tremendous growth in our business and overall demand as consumers increasingly shift to online buying and selling options,” Vroom chief financial officer Dave Jones said.

“We’re thrilled to have Ally’s continued vote of confidence through this extended agreement, giving us the ability to increase the depth and diversity of our inventory and scale our business for years to come,” Jones continued.

Doug Timmerman, president of auto finance for Ally, added, “Automotive retailers come to Ally because our extensive auto experience enables us to find solutions that help them scale.

“Vroom has made great strides this year and we’re excited to extend our financing relationship to continue supporting the company’s inventory acquisition efforts and growth strategy,” Timmerman went on to say.

Ally’s involvement with Moguls in the Making competition

In other company news, Ally also is involved with Moguls in the Making, a business plan pitch competition that offers Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students an opportunity to learn and practice vital skills.

The second annual competition will take place virtually Wednesday through Sunday. This event is presented by Ally, Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and entertainer and entrepreneur Big Sean’s foundation, the Sean Anderson Foundation (SAF).

Officials said the event will showcase the diversity of ideas, thoughts and experiences these students can offer the business world.

Moguls in the Making gives 50 students — grouped into teams of five from 10 HBCUs — an opportunity to develop and present business plans aimed at solving key issues in the context of today’s economic and social climate. Winners receive scholarships and internship opportunities with Ally.

According to a news release, six of the 2019 Moguls in the Making participants have joined Ally as full-time employees.

“Moguls in the Making is an impactful way to celebrate the talent of HBCU students and to support a diverse pipeline of candidates whose contributions are critical to making both our company and our communities stronger,” Ally Financial chief executive officer Jeffrey Brown said. “I am inspired by what this program has helped us achieve and hope it can serve as a model for other organizations seeking to identify and nurture diverse talent in their businesses, as well.

“Our continued work with TMCF and HBCUs across our nation is a key element of our continued focus on creating a world-class culture that celebrates the power of diversity and inclusion. We are firm believers that if we can advance our company, we can advance our nation, too,” Brown continued.

Ally said the business case for diverse workforces is clear. In 2019, companies in the upper quartile of ethnic and cultural diversity of their executive teams outperformed those in the fourth quartile by 36% in profitability, according to a report by McKinsey & Co.

The Moguls in the Making program has already helped Ally expand its diverse pool of young talent, while amplifying awareness of the vital role HBCUs play in building Black middle and upper classes.

Ally noted that HBCUs are responsible for 22% of current Black bachelor degrees and, despite the fact that HBCUs account for just 3% of four-year nonprofit colleges, their alumni account for roughly 80% of Black judges, 50% of Black lawyers and doctors, and their students account for 25% of Black undergraduates who earn degrees in STEM.2

Ally is a 14-year supporter of TMCF, one of the largest organizations exclusively representing the Black college community. TMCF also recognized Ally’s Brown as CEO of the Year in 2019.

For last year’s Moguls in the Making competition, the two organizations teamed up for the first time with the Sean Anderson Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the education, health, safety and well-being of school-aged youth and their families.

“We are excited to work with Ally Financial and the Sean Anderson Foundation once again, to showcase the genius and talent of our HBCU students,” said Harry Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “Moguls in the Making is a unique opportunity that will provide our students with the opportunity to excel in the business world.” 

Big Sean added, “I’m proud to be a part of this program with Ally. I hope we stay at this for years to come. It’s exciting to positively impact these students’ lives from all over the country, who are the next generation of forward thinkers, and to see them step into their power and work as a unit successfully.”

The top 50 students of the more than 570 applicants from across the country will come together virtually for four days to compete for prizes. Students hail from 10 HBCUs, including:

— Alabama A&M University
— Bowie State University
— Coppin State University
— Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
— Hampton University
— Morehouse College
— Morgan State University
— North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
— University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
— Virginia State University

Students will represent their schools in teams of five tasked with developing and pitching business plans across 10 industries that support economic mobility in the midst of the pandemic and social unrest.

Ally mentors and team coaches, including six 2019 Moguls in the Making participants, will work with the students to help formulate their plans. Prominent mentors will be available to teams as a resource on their industry. Students also will have the opportunity to virtually attend fireside chats with business leaders.

The event will culminate Sunday when the teams will present their business plans to a panel of judges consisting of

— Stacy Spikes, founder of Urbanworld Film Festival
— TD Lowe, partner at 42Phi Ventures
— Lule Demmissie, president, Ally Invest
— Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer, Ally
— Jason Schugel, chief risk officer, Ally

The top three teams will receive prizes. First prize includes internships at the Ally Design Concept Studio, a $10,000 scholarship and much more.

To learn more about the program, go to this website.