Car subscription and trading platform Carbar has raised $16.8 million from insurance company IAG and private investors.

IAG is now the majority shareholder in the three-year-old business, which it says will help it to better understand changing mobility trends and provide new sources of value to its customers.

The majority stake acquisition aligns with IAG’s ongoing focus on creating personalised customer experiences that harness the power of data and innovation, the insurer said.

Sitting adjacent to the auto industry, insurers globally are figuring out how to evolve their offerings to suit a world with lower levels of car ownership and rising on-demand services. They are also trying to prepare for the impact of autonomous vehicles on their business model.

IAG Executive General Manager of Innovation James Orchard said, “We are thrilled to partner with Carbar which will play a central role in our approach to the future of insurance and the changing mobility needs of our customers.

“Carbar has pioneered the car subscription model in Australia. We look forward to combining its world-class digital capabilities with IAG’s assets and scale to provide new mobility experiences for customers today and in the future.”

The funding will primarily be used to expand the service to more locations. After launching in Melbourne in 2016, Carbar launched in Sydney last month and now has plans to expand across Australia in 2020.

Carbar CEO and co-founder Desmond Hang said IAG’s support will be instrumental in growing the business.

“We’re thrilled to be working with IAG. They share our vision and are incredibly supportive of our goals and business,” Hang said.

“The partnership is an integrated strategy, with multiple layers to it, primarily helping IAG’s customers’ mobility needs and improving customer value. In addition to that, the partnership will bring operational synergies such as marketing and technology support and distribution opportunities.”

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