Car Loan 4U announces £8m Scottish Equity Partners investment

Leading car finance specialist will use backing to accelerate growth

Online car finance company Car Loan 4U today announced a £8m investment from venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners (SEP).

Founded in 2006 by entrepreneurs James Wilkinson and Ryan Dignan, Car Loan 4U offers online loans for new or used cars, and claims to process most applications within minutes.

The Macclesfield-based company has seen especially strong growth over the past year, increasing turnover by 75% to £11m and growing staff to 150 employees.

Boosted by the £8m investment, Car Loan 4U said it planned to consolidate its position as one of the UK’s leading car finance providers, with an aim to quadruple turnover over the next four years.

The investment will also be used to improve the company’s website and loan application technology, which it says will create a ‘superior customer journey’.

SEP’s investment marks the first time Car Loan 4U has received outside funding, with the company being organically funded to date.

Car Loan 4U will join SEP’s digital media and e-commerce portfolio, which includes leading flight comparison site Skyscanner and Media Ingenuity, operator of credit card comparison site TotallyMoney.com.

James Wilkinson, founder and CEO of Car Loan 4U, said: “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.”

Andrew Davison, a partner at SEP, will join the Car Loan 4U board as part of the deal. Davison 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.”

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