In addition to the used-car financing options it has been offering on TRED since April, Ally is now providing GAP insurance and vehicle service contracts to buyers on the peer-to-peer online car marketplace.
The partnership between the two companies was .
At that time, Ally was already accepting finance applications via TRED and said it would begin providing GAP and VSCs this summer, a move that ultimately happened this month, an Ally spokesperson said via email.
“Ally’s new relationship with TRED expands our digital presence and brings trusted financing and insurance products to its customers at the point of purchase,” Ally Insurance president Doug Timmerman said in the May news release.
“As a leader in the industry, our goal is to add value for auto consumers by offering products and services that fit their needs and shopping preferences — whether they choose to purchase at a dealership, or through an online marketplace like TRED,” he added.
More details on TRED & deal with Ally
TRED is an online used-car marketplace and a licensed dealership, with current operations for sellers in Washington and Oregon and buyers nationwide, according to its website. The company said in the May release it was expanding to California this summer.
Through the platform, consumers can buy, sell and trade in their vehicles.
TRED’s founder and chief executive officer is Grant Feek, and it was started in 2012. Seed funders include Chris Sacca, Great Oaks Venture Capital and former General Motors chief executive Rick Wagoner.
Feek’s background before starting TRED includes posts in the private equity and auto space at Lehman Brothers, Lowe Enterprises and BMW, according to the company’s website.
“Bringing the complete financing process to TRED gives buyers increased power and flexibility to purchase the vehicle they want, and gives sellers access to a larger pool of qualified buyers for a faster, more convenient transaction,” Feek said in the May news release.
“The addition of Ally’s auto finance and vehicle protection products is part of providing a trusted, end-to-end experience to our customers.”
In a May phone interview with AuSM, Timmerman said the nature of the financing that Ally offers via TRED is “very consistent” with what it offers via dealers, Timmerman said, adding that it was just retail financing (and not leasing) for now.
Finance terms are also consistent with what is offered in the dealer channel, Timmerman said, and as far as credit tiers, financing is being offered to the full spectrum.
“Really what our role is, our play is, taking that transaction, that process to the next level by using us to be able to handle the financing and then obviously be able to offer the customer vehicle service contract or GAP … really fulfilling everything that today often times happens at a traditional dealership and doing it online,” Timmerman said in the phone interview. “There’s a lot of consumers that would prefer to do business in that manner.”
Teaming tech & autos
As much of the market moves toward online car-buying, having both tech and automotive experience at a startup like TRED can prove beneficial, as can partnering with traditional players in the auto industry.
TRED’s group of advisers includes auto industry and tech backgrounds. For instance, Wagoner (the former GM CEO), auto dealer Jim Walen and Ally executive vice president Angie Tuglus are advisers
Joe Looney, also among the advisers, is a former partner at Hudson Cook, a well-known law firm in automotive, among other consumer financial service sectors.
In addition to Feek, Ben Huh — ex-CEO and founder of Cheezburger Inc. — is on the board, as is Splash Capital managing director Tihan Seale.
TechStars co-founder and managing partner David Cohen is an adviser.
“I think it’s key,” Timmerman said of having automotive and tech experience and knowledge behind a company.
He added: “If you just had the auto experience or you just had the experience from a technology perspective, that wouldn’t be enough. But the combination of understanding both and blending that, I think that’s really the key, and that’s one of the things that’s really made TRED successful.”