Car Loan 4U, the UK’s leading online car finance specialist, today announced an £8 million investment from leading UK venture capital firm, Scottish Equity Partners (SEP). The investment will enable Car Loan 4U to accelerate its growth and build on its position as the UK market leader.
Launched in 2006, Car Loan 4U provides a market-leading online service for consumers looking for car finance, and has overseen its most successful period of growth over the last 12 months.
Turnover has grown by more than 75% to £11m and headcount has increased to 150 employees. The company hopes to more than quadruple its annual revenues over the next four years.
The investment will be used to build the Car Loan 4U brand and implement and expand the capabilities of Car Loan 4U’s advanced technology, creating a superior customer journey.
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Car Loan 4U CEO James Wilkinson commented: “The investment from SEP represents a landmark for Car Loan 4U and will be invaluable in helping us continue our ambition of revolutionising the market, by transforming the way consumers take out car finance online.”
“It comes at an exciting time in the company’s history, and the extensive digital technology experience of SEP makes them the perfect partner for us to develop our strong growth. We have expansion plans across the board and in a short space of time, have evolved from a small business exploiting a gap in the market to emerge as a clear leader in our sector.”
He added: “The online opportunity in the car finance industry is huge. This investment will allow us to accelerate innovations in our technology and deliver a vastly improved customer experience, as well as expanding our brand and helping us set a new industry standard for the way consumers shop online for car finance.”
Andrew Davison, a Partner at SEP, will join the company’s board. He said “Car Loan 4U has been self-funded to date and we have been impressed by the fact that it has consistently grown revenues to become the UK’s leading provider of online used car finance.
“We believe there is a very large market opportunity, with seven million used cars being sold in the UK last year. This involved £8 billion of dealer arranged finance across an estimated 845,000 deals. We are just at the beginning in terms of the use of the Internet in financial services. Our investment will enable the company to increase its brand awareness, allowing it to capitalise on the trend towards greater online loan provision.”
Car Loan 4U will join SEP’s expanding digital media and e-commerce portfolio which includes Media Ingenuity, operator of credit card comparison site TotallyMoney.com and the world’s fastest growing international travel search company Skyscanner.
Technology investment bank GP Bullhound and lawyers DWF advised on the deal for Car Loan 4U.