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Learn more about Clutch's story

The beginning

Clutch founders Chris Coleman and Nicholas Hinrichsen met at Stanford Business School in 2011. After going on a number of adventures together, including a trip to Vietnam, they had the crazy idea to start an online used car company. They called the company Carlypso and imagined a company like Amazon but for used cars.

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The Founders


I am a huge car enthusiast. I went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for undergrad, joined McKinsey & Company out of college and worked at McLaren in the UK before graduating from Stanford.


I used to be an avid golfer, playing on Germany's national team for four years. After finishing my master's degree in Germany, I worked at Bain & Company, and Merrill Lynch before I moved to the U.S. in 2011.

2013 to 2022

After graduating from Stanford Business School in 2013, they joined the startup accelerator YCombinator, raised Venture Capital in 2015, and eventually sold Carlypso to in 2017.

They stayed with Carvana until 2020, creating exceptional customer experiences helping Carvana on its way to become the world's largest used car company.

The case for Credit Unions

In 2020, having gained a wealth of knowledge in the auto lending industry, they realized how badly Americans needed a better way to shop for loans. Since many Americans shop for cars, not for loans, they knew they could build a better model for assisting shoppers in the process.
Credit Unions were the perfect partner because we believe in financial fairness and equality.

America is our community and local Credit Unions serve members in a caring way, and deserve larger share of wallet compared to big banks.
Since many Credit Unions lack the technical capabilities and large development teams that big banks can afford, many Credit Unions are looking for partners that can deliver exceptional digital member experiences. That’s where the idea of Clutch was born.


Clutch was founded in 2020 with the purpose of creating user experiences to refinance high interest auto loans for members of Credit Unions. The initial product, an auto loan recapture campaign tool was so successful, Credit Unions asked for more.

In 2022, Clutch turned just two years old and we have built and deployed a full software package of lending products to over 50 Credit Unions and grown our internal staff to a team of over 50 employees.

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