BMW Financial U.K.’s Innovation Lab Yields 3 Startup Partnerships

  • Natalie Mattila
  • April 27, 2017
  • 0

BMW Group Financial Services U.K.’s 10-week Innovation Lab “surpassed expectations,” as evidenced by the captive’s recent commercial deals with three of the participating startups, Chief Executive Mike Dennett said in a blog post.

The lab — a financial technology business incubator — supported the work of five startups, which were selected by BMW.

The lab began on Oct. 3, 2016, and concluded with a demonstration on Dec. 8, 2016. The five teams were provided access to a range of resources provided by BMW, including office space at BMW Group’s headquarters in Farnborough, Hampshire; mentorships from senior leadership in the company; product testing opportunities; and access to investors.

“The idea of bringing five startups into our U.K. headquarters for 10 weeks, with no guaranteed outcomes at the end of it, presented quite a leap into the unknown,” Dennett said in the blog. “But it was a leap that needed to happen.”

And clearly that “leap” paid off for BMW Financial, as the captive inked deals with three of the startups, so far.

Deals were struck with:

1. Cazana

Formerly known as UKVehicle.com, Cazana’s data allows customers to track previous sales history, the value of their car, and a timeline of a vehicle’s lifespan. BMW Financial in the U.K. will start a nine-month pilot with Cazana, using its information on cars with the intention to build a new platform, allowing BMW to increase their share of this market, according to a published report.

2. Wrisk

Founded in early 2016, Wrisk is an insurtech startup that delivers motor, travel, and home insurance directly through smartphones. BMW Financial Services signed a letter of intent to enter a commercial partnership with Wrisk once the startup’s app launches officially in 2018.

3. Divido

Dividio is a financial services platform that pairs consumers with lenders, to offer financing for unexpected repair costs following vehicle servicing. The financing ranges from six-month terms to 12-month terms, depending on the lender, David Backshall, Dividio’s commercial director, told Mobility Buzz. While Dividio has many lenders using its platform, for BMW specifically, the Dividio connects consumers with one third-party lender vetted by BMW. In the future, however, BMW Financial Services will be one of the lenders on Dividio’s platform, Backshall said.

The remaining two startups that participating in the Innovation Lab are Warwick Analytics, predictive analytics platform that allows businesses to utilize big data, and Drover, a car rental and ridesharing platform aptly referred to as the “Airbnb for cars,” according to the published report. BMW Financial Services U.K. is continuing commercial discussions with both startups.

“Big business must always be somewhat guarded with who and what they work with, but I firmly believe that the age of big and small working separately is over,” Dennett said in the blog. “Disruption is coming to every sector, it’s inevitable and it will likely arrive sooner than you think. The young, eager entrepreneurs of today could quickly become the disruptive competitors that erode your marketshare and bottom line tomorrow.”

To learn more about the evolution of transportation, join us at the second annual Auto Finance Innovation 2017 conference, May 17-18 at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego. Visit www.autofinanceinnovation.com to register or learn more. To request a media pass, contact Skylar Taylor at staylor@royalmedia.com.

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