EBlock, a leading online car-auction platform in Canada, has accelerated its push into the U.S. by acquiring Louisiana’s 1st Choice Auto Auction (LAFCAA), a physical auction company serving the Gulf Coast  region. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The purchase builds on EBlock’s U.S. expansion, started in 2021 on the West Coast and extended earlier this year to the Midwest.

The move also continues EBlock’s strategy of going from a pure online platform to a hybrid company in the U.S. In February EBlock bought a physical auction business in Michigan, FastLane Auto Exchange, to facilitate cross-border wholesaling with its Canadian operations. The purchase of LAFCAA’s 34-acre physical auction facility north of New Orleans gives Southeastern dealers a mix of digital and in-person services.

“The acquisition of Louisiana’s 1st Choice is another example of us executing our land-meets-technology strategy,” E Inc. president and CEO Jason McClenahan wrote in the announcement. “The addition of physical auctions to our digital dealer-to-dealer platform is a natural extension of our commitment to supporting the evolving needs of our dealer partners. By connecting physical auctions and digital auctions, we are creating a network of logistics hubs that will improve our ability to serve our customers and give them the flexibility to do business where and how they prefer it.”

EBlock’s online platform offers weekly auctions in a six-lane space with a capacity for 550 daily transactions. Historically, LAFCAA has hosted 15,000 auctions per year.

EBlock’s digital service supports real-time, dealer-to-dealer auctions that simulate a physical auction experience, the company states. With set auction times, dealers don’t have to monitor the platform all day, making it a more time efficient way to trade cars.

E Block is one of two subsidiary businesses of E Inc., the other being EDealer, a vendor of white-label websites and software. Publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “EINC,” the firm reported revenue of $24.8 million U.S. in Q1 2021, up 51% year on year. The firm had a net loss of $14.9 million compared to a loss of $3.0 million in Q1 2021.

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