Insurance specialist Allianz Group invests in heycar

08 July 2021

Digital sales platform heycar has received funding from Allianz X, the investment arm of insurance company Allianz Group. The move will see the company’s business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) insurance arm, Allianz Partners, become the insurance supplier of the site for the next five years in all existing and future markets.

COVID-19 has brought online vehicle sales to the attention of millions of car buyers across Europe. As consumers could not visit showrooms due to lockdowns, those looking for a new vehicle turned to the internet instead. This is evident in new-car sales, where initial crashes in figures during April, May and June 2020 in various markets were not replicated later in the year when showrooms shut again.

Therefore, now is the right time to invest in online car-sales platforms. Launched in 2017 by Mobility Trader Holding GmbH, heycar has expanded from covering the German market to incorporating online sites in the UK and Spain. The digital business-to-consumer platform provides a wide range of quality used-car offers and add-ons such as warranty and flexible purchasing options like financing or leasing. In order to do so, heycar builds on strong partnerships with car manufacturers, dealers, and captive banks.  

Expanded offering

Allianz X joins investors including Volkswagen, Volkswagen Financial Services, and Daimler Mobility. The business is further committing to digital-business models with the potential to disrupt the mobility sector. Allianz’s integration into the platform will make core motor-insurance products available and extend to various add-on features, such as roadside assistance and warranty.

heycar will become a holistic and customer-centric mobility provider, covering conventional dealership sales and increasing end-to-end online transactions. By teaming up with each other, heycar, car manufacturers, captive banks, and Allianz Partners can offer customers an end-to-end digital car-purchasing experience.

‘The extensive partnership with heycar demonstrates Allianz Partners’ digital capabilities and our strong commitment to digital business models,’ said Tomas Kunzmann, CEO of mobility & assistance at Allianz Partners. ‘It proves once more that we are an attractive and reliable business partner to OEMs across regions, products and services, customers segments, and distribution channels. We see various opportunities to realise the joint business potential with fully-embedded product solutions, expand in existing markets, and enter new ones.’

Emerging platforms

Growth in digital retail has seen a flurry of activity when it comes to digital automotive platforms. Earlier this year, Driverama launched as Europe’s first-ever online borderless used-car retailer. The company also announced a partnership with Stop+Go to provide aftercare packages to its customers. Supermarket chain Lidl also launched car leasing online in Germany as it looks to expand its offering into growing markets.

It is clear that COVID-19 has changed people’s attitudes to car buying, and therefore Allianz’s investment in heycar is unlikely to be the last announcement of this type this year. As the market grows, further investment opportunities will become available, especially as more consumers turn from physical to digital sales.

‘We see healthy and sustainable growth potential in an OEM-backed, digital used-car sales platform that covers both online and offline sales,’ said Nazim Cetin, CEO of Allianz X.