technology

Auto1 Joins Deutsche Bank, Allianz in Fintech Car Financing Push

  • Car dealers will be able to refinance their purchases online
  • Move meant to smooth buying for Auto1 customers, boost sales

Auto1 Group GmbH is partnering with Deutsche Bank AG and Allianz SE as the German startup expands into fintech to ease financing for customers buying its used cars.

The three partners together own more than 50 percent in a new company called Auto1 Fintech, that will offer refinancing loans and insurance products to car dealerships buying SoftBank Group Corp.-backed Auto1’s vehicles, co-Chief Executive Officer Hakan Koc said Wednesday in an interview.

Auto1 acts as an online exchange for used cars, buying vehicles from individuals and selling them to dealerships. Those dealerships will be able to instantly refinance their purchases online instead of using a paper-based process that can tie up their equity for two to three weeks, Koc said. The hope is that Auto1’s customers will buy more -- much like PayPal’s instant purchase helped boost transaction volumes on EBay Inc.’s marketplace.

“We are freeing capital and our customers are more liquid as a result,” Koc said by telephone. “It’s win-win.” Auto1 Fintech has already started in Germany and will expand to Poland and France later this year, Koc said.

The move is part of Auto1’s push to diversify its offerings and encourage customer loyalty as it seeks to become the dominant Internet platform for used automobiles. SoftBank’s Vision Fund invested 460 million euros ($540 million) in Auto1 earlier this year, valuing the Berlin-based company at about 2.9 billion euros.

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