UK ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ provider Bumper has raised £9 million funding in a Series A round which features Jaguar Land Rover.

The funding will be used by the London-based firm to roll out its car repair financing platform across Europe. 

The round was led by Silicon Valley based Autotech Ventures, with participation from Jaguar Land Rover’s fund InMotion Ventures and a group of prominent angel investors, and brings total funds raised by the company to $17.5m.

Bumper, which also has a base in Sheffield – and a tech development centre in Ankara, Turkey – enables customers to spread the cost of car repairs by offering interest-free, flexible payments to help drivers better afford necessary repairs and maintenance. 

The company says customers can split bills and authorise repairs in seconds via a fully digital automated process, making the process more efficient and removing the need for uncomfortable price negotiations with dealerships. 

Alongside the consumer offering, Bumper partners with the world’s leading OEMs including Volkswagen Group, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan, and approximately 60% of the franchised UK dealer market currently use Bumper’s payment platform. 

Bumper charges a small transaction fee to the dealerships in exchange for providing the full cost of the repair up front. 

By aggregating thousands of vehicle and consumer finance data, with thorough affordability checks, it says it ensures both dealerships and consumers are protected from loan default.

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Bumper is currently rolling out its product in Germany, plans to launch in Spain and the Netherlands in the next three months, and has ambitions to be in every major European market by the end of 2022. 

Plans are also in the pipeline for the widespread launch of a consumer app, which will act as a one stop shop for all automotive requirements, such as payments for congestion charges, parking and tolls, and approving repair work. The app is due to launch in the UK in January 2022.

The firm has been profitable for the last 18 months, with GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) set to triple by the end of this year. 

“The current process for handling car repairs is broken on both sides, with dealerships selling just 40% of identified repairs and drivers left out of pocket and with dangerous vehicles,” said James Jackson, CEO and co-founder. 

“Bumper offers a simple alternative to unexpected car repairs. It’s a very different proposition to other Buy Now Pay Later services, as we’re not encouraging people to buy things they don’t need, we’re enabling them to purchase necessary repairs at an affordable rate. 

“We’ve seen huge demand for expanding the services we offer, and are looking forward to bringing Bumper to customers across Europe.”

Alex Smout, principal at InMotion Ventures, said: “Buy Now Pay Later is the fastest-growing online payment method globally. Bumper’s market-leading proposition will benefit the millions of consumers who need more flexibility when paying for crucial repairs. 

“The technology seamlessly integrates with the existing systems of dealerships and OEMs, which combined with rigorous credit checking, offers merchants and dealerships a level of security previously unseen in the industry. 

“We’re looking forward to working with the Bumper team and supporting the expansion of the business across Europe.”