The buyout giant KKR has taken a controlling stake in Oodle Finance, an Oxford-based car loan company.
KKR, whose other investments include the retailer Toys ‘R’ Us and railway ticketing company Trainline, has invested £60m in the business.
Oodle was founded last year by Jonathan Clayton, a former managing director at Credit Suisse, and Phillip Williams, a financial services consultant. The business provides finance on used cars.
Over the past year, Oodle has lent a total of £20m to customers through 20 car dealerships. It typically charges customers interest rates below 10%.
The boost in capital will allow the company to expand its lending to more dealerships across Britain.
Oodle is seeking to fill a gap in the car sales market. It provides financing for a range of credit profiles and uses technology to enable faster approvals.
Last year, the number of second-hand cars sold in the UK reached its highest level on record, with more than 4m vehicles changing hands in the first half of 2016.
Car sales are widely seen as a key indicator of economic confidence and of consumers’ willingness to spend their cash. In the five years after the 2008 financial crisis, second-hand car sales flatlined as consumers tightened their belts. The government launched a scrappage scheme offering £2,000 to encourage people to buy new cars.