July 24, 2021

AutoFi launches ‘lending-as-a-service’ business unit

AutoFi, a digital car sales and finance platform, is launching a new business unit focused on connecting automakers, auto lenders and dealerships through open integration tools.

The Enterprise Division, which contains a program AutoFi is calling its “lending-as-a-service” business, expands on previous attempts to create connections through online lending marketplaces. In 2017, AutoFi premiered a multilender financing platform for used-car dealers supported by a network of banks, specialty lenders and credit unions.

Jonathan Schenk, chief revenue officer at AutoFi, said that during the past 18 months, the company focused on the necessary integrations that connect auto lending sources to dealership customers.

“It was clear to us there was this unmet need at the enterprise level,” Schenk told Automotive News. “Large online dealers like Vroom [and] OEMs … want to offer more direct consumer-feeling products while still making sure that the dealer’s at the center of that transaction. We’re looking for a native integration of financial services into their platforms to help build their own unique brands.”

AutoFi’s lending-as-a-service platform, through its API Suite, boasts integration abilities, including vehicle price estimation, credit application routing and customer offers from more than 40 of the largest U.S. auto lenders, such as Chase Auto, Bank of America and Santander Consumer USA.

The white label lending-as-a-service product would function as a go-between for auto lending, supporting the collection of all data necessary to originate an auto loan and funneling that information through existing software solutions and credit application networks Dealertrack or RouteOne.

From there, “We work with our lenders to be able to then take that information, unpack it or appropriately address it in a direct-consumer way,” Schenk said.

Public online used-vehicle seller Vroom is currently a client of the lending-as-a-service platform, which unofficially launched in December.

The Enterprise Division is an expansion of AutoFi’s business and its existing Digital Retail Solutions Division. Dealership credit software alum Matthew Orlando will lead the unit as vice president of enterprise partnerships. Orlando most recently was RouteOne’s director of OEM and partner strategy, joining AutoFi in the middle of last year.