Online platform Carwow secures manufacturer investment
12 August 2019
Online car sales platform Carwow has attracted £25 million (€27 million) in investment led by Daimler, as part of a strategic round of funding.
The move marks the first time Carwow has opened up to strategic investors. The company will use the capital acquired to accelerate growth in the UK, German and Spanish markets, with investment in recruitment, product development and marketing.
Daimler AG is joining investors such as Balderton Capital, Accel and Vitruvian Partners, all of which are re-investing in the tech firm.
Daimler AG's Axel Harries, vice president sales functions Mercedes-Benz Cars and product management Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, will also take a seat on the Carwow board of directors.
‘When the company was founded, there was a view from the industry that there might be some resistance for a model that levelled the playing field for consumers and dealers,’ said James Hind, founder of Carwow. ‘Having one of the world’s leading car manufacturers investing in the future growth and success of our business is a real proof point that this is a solution that works.
‘This demonstrates that the industry perspective is shifting to what we anticipated when we launched, not only that the car purchasing journey was primed to move into the digital era, but that dealers and manufacturers can greatly reap the benefits of more informed and empowered customers.’
Rob Moffat, Partner at Balderton Capital, added: ‘We are delighted to bring Daimler on board at Carwow, alongside further investment from Balderton, Accel and Vitruvian. This investment from one of the leading global car manufacturers demonstrates how strategically important Carwow is becoming for online car sales across Europe.’
The business offers dealers qualified enquiries from consumers that have researched their new or nearly new car through Carwow.
Carwow said over £5 billion (€5.4 billion) worth of vehicles had been sold through the website since it launched in 2013. It said currently one in every 20 new retail cars in the UK sold is now through Carwow, representing 5% of the market.
The platform began operating in Germany during 2016 and the company believes it is responsible for around 1.5% of new cars sold in the country. It opened up to the Spanish market last year and is already expecting to reach sales worth around €200 million by the end of 2019.