Scout24 AG acquires FINANZCHECK in Germany
Berlin/Munich/Hamburg, July 18, 2018 | Scout24 AG acquires FINANZCHECK, a German online comparison portal for consumer loans. The leading operator of digital marketplaces specializing in the real estate and automotive sectors in Germany and Europe signed an agreement yesterday evening to acquire all shares from Acton Capital, btov Partners, Highland Europe, FINANZCHECK’s founder and CEO Moritz Thiele and other shareholders.
Closing is subject to anti-trust approval and is expected within four to six weeks. The transaction is based on a consideration of EUR 285 million, on a cash-free and debt-free basis. The purchase price is paid fully in cash. “The acquisition of FINANZCHECK represents another big step into further digitising the consumer journey within the Scout24 market network,” says Gregory Ellis, CEO of Scout24.
“It’s a highly complementary business for us and we are confident this strategic step will boost top-line growth to hit the EUR 250 million mark in the mid-term for the Consumer Services business.”
Gregory Ellis, Scout24 AG
“We are happy to have Scout24 on board as our new parent company. This new union builds on an already very good working relationship on the back of our long-running affiliate-partnership,” said Moritz Thiele, CEO and founder of FINANZCHECK.
“I am confident we will both profit from this new partnership and that it will further bolster our already strong growth path in the German fintech industry.”
Moritz Thiele, FINANZCHECK
“We aim to empower consumers in the decision of taking out a loan to finance their purchase. At the moment, there is no integrated solution from search to transaction completion for buying a car online. By joining forces with AutoScout24, we are able to trace another step along the consumer journey within one single market network and offer transparent and relevant solutions for users on one of Germany’s biggest car digital market places,” said Andreas Kupke, FINANZCHECK’s Managing Director and COO.
FINANZCHECK.de operates an online consumer finance platform, providing consumers with real-time and efficient comparison of consumer loans – in addition, the company cooperates with affiliate websites, point-of-sale finance and partner networks in Germany through its proprietary consumer financing technology platform. In terms of market share and market positioning for online comparison of consumer loans, FINANZCHECK.de is a top 3 portal in Germany. Using an easy-to-use online query, credit offers and loan-related products from all important providers on the market can be compared within a few minutes. For enquiries on instalment, car and rescheduling loans, loan advisors are also available upon request in addition to online enquiries – seven days a week and free of charge.
Through this highly strategic acquisition, Scout24 teams up with a leading player in delivering great user experience and helping users to save time and money in finding the right consumer loan for them. It further provides banks and finance institutions with a cost efficient and scalable way to offer their services to loan seekers. FINANZCHECK has built its business on a proprietary technology platform with machine learning capabilities and API-connections (application programming interface) to the most relevant finance providers in Germany.
The online market for consumer loans is a strongly growing market, that benefits both from a healthy underlying development of the > EUR 80 billion newly issued consumer loans in Germany, as well as from an ongoing shift of consumer loan purchasing from offline channels to online. Between 2015 and 2022, the market share of consumer loans generated through online comparison platforms is expected to double.
FINANZCHECK has a proven track record of strong growth with a compounded annual growth rate of around 35% over the past three years, resulting in more than EUR 35 million in revenues in financial year ending December 2017. From Q1 2015 to Q1 2018, the company more than tripled the quarterly number of newly registered customers going through the loan application process, and more than doubled the number of loan transactions, making up for a brokered volume of more than EUR 3.5 billion since the company’s inception in 2012. In addition, FINANZCHECK has a comprehensive market coverage in terms of relevant consumer finance providers, with more than 20 financial institutions connected via API to its technology platform.
The acquisition is an important strategic step to support users along their consumer journey and to deliver on Scout24’s purpose to “Inspire your best decisions”, being perfectly complemented by FINANZCHECK’s mantra of “enabling for money”. The acquisition builds on the already well-established and successful working commercial partnership between the two companies to deliver consumer finance for car seekers on the AutoScout24 and FinanceScout24 platforms.
“Next to operational synergies and revenue contribution, we are gaining deep consumer understanding up to the point of the transaction.”
Gregory Ellis, Scout24 AG
“Understanding consumer lifecycles and when a consumer will start his next journey of seeking a new car or home again is a highly valuable proprietary insight that will help us to strategically align our offerings by building bridges to future consumer touchpoints,” Gregory Ellis, CEO of Scout24 AG, emphasising the high strategic value and leverage of the transaction as it helps to close the gaps within the Group’s coverage of the consumer journey along the real estate and automotive value chains.
“Investing in future growth and further capturing the full potential of our market network were key pillars of the strategy we have communicated to the capital market,” said Christian Gisy, CFO of Scout24 AG. “FINANZCHECK.de is a strong brand in the German market for consumer finance and we believe that this acquisition fits perfectly with our overall strategy. We would like to welcome Moritz, Andreas and the highly talented FINANZCHECK.de team to their new home.”
“Together, we see significant operational synergies which will help us target additional revenue potential along the extended real estate and automotive value chains.”
Christian Gisy, Scout24 AG
The Scout24 Management sees significant opportunities to enhance the growth of the Consumer Services vertical through the addition of FINANZCHECK.de. This will mainly be driven by providing a more integrated service on the Scout24 platforms, thereby prolonging and enhancing the market network’s role in the consumer journey. Scout24 Management expects to realize synergies on both the automotive and the real estate side. Initial focus will be on expanding FINANZCHECK.de’s presence on the AutoScout24 platform and meeting more users’ needs in the car buying process. Car loans are an essential part of the car buying process, with around 40% of second hand cars being partly or fully financed. In the future, Scout24 Management plans to roll-out the integration also to the AutoScout24 platforms in the core European countries. Next to strengthening the AutoScout24 platform with an integrated car financing experience, Scout24 Management sees additional synergies and revenue potential by leveraging its existing close relationships with the roughly 26,000 AutoScout24 dealer partners in Germany. AutoScout24 will be able to offer the FINANZCHECK.de’s business-to-business solution “finanzcheckPRO”, helping car dealers to provide potential car buyers with loan options and realize the desired car purchase.
Based in Hamburg, FINANZCHECK.de is one of Germany’s leading independent, tech-enabled consumer financing platforms that connects consumers with product providers across any channel. The average consumer benefits from significant interest cost savings and higher chances of getting financing, while product providers benefit from significantly lower customer acquisition costs. FINANZCHECK is focused on becoming the no.1 consumer liquidity solution provider through its plug-and-play infrastructure, using direct interfaces deeply integrated into finance providers’ IT infrastructure to compare >70 consumer loan products.