Auto Trader has confirmed the acquisition of finance, insurance and compliance software platform AutoConvert.

AutoConvert helps its customers to both increase finance penetration and to reduce costs by automating the full customer journey for the automotive sector. AutoConvert’s customers include automotive dealers, dealer networks and financial brokers.

The acquisition is expected to contribute circa £1m to the Group’s total revenue and, prior to any amortisation of acquired intangible assets, is expected to make an operating loss of circa £0.5m for the remainder of the year ended 31 March 2021.

Auto Trader launched a finance advertising product in 2018 which delivers over 35,000 finance leads each month as over 1.5m consumers interact with a finance calculator each month. Since 2018, the business has been focused on creating a technology platform to support dealers to make the finance sales and transaction process more efficient.

Many dealers run finance from multiple systems, with different processes that often require manual intervention, which is time consuming and costly. By consolidating lenders and processes into one technology platform, dealers have the potential to save costs and gain insights which enable them to improve finance conversions and sales.

Auto Trader recently shared more context on their strategy with investors and outlined that the business is focused on providing technology and data to enable dealers to digitise their businesses. Whilst this would extend Auto Trader’s products into new areas beyond advertising, including finance technology, these are areas where there are significant benefits to dealers from more breadth and choice of providers.

Auto Trader chief executive Nathan Coe said: “AutoConvert is an impressive platform that dramatically improves a retailer’s finance conversion and operations through automation. We will invest in AutoConvert’s technology solutions to drive growth of their products to enable more dealers to benefit.

“This acquisition provides us with a capability that will be critical as we work with our customers to support them to digitise their businesses and to move more of the car buying process online. We look forward to working with Paul and the team to make this happen.”

Paul Livesey, Co-founder of AutoConvert, said: “We wouldn’t be in the position we are in today without the continuous feedback from our customers, as this has enabled us to develop the platform quickly – an approach we are committed to continuing. We have an extremely exciting development roadmap ahead and an amazing team to execute it, only now we’ll also have the support of Auto Trader who will enable us to bring these plans to life much quicker than we had planned.“