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Cazoo raises a further £100m to boost online car retail ambitions

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Cazoo has raised a further £100 million to boost its online car retail ambitions after delivering £20 million worth of vehicle sales in its first three months of trading.

The online used car retailer, founded by Zoopla and LoveFilm founder Alex Chesterman and the subject of an exclusive face-to-face interview in this month’s AM Magazine, has now succeeded in raising £180m since being founded less than 18 months ago.

The figure is a record for any UK start-up in its first year of operation.

Chesterman, founder and chief executive of Cazoo, said: “It’s clear that UK consumers are ready to buy cars online in a convenient, hassle-free way.

“Cars are an important form of transport for many in our society, whether conducting deliveries or getting to essential jobs and we want to ensure that those who need one can continue to get one.

“This new round of funding is a strong signal from investors of the scale of the opportunity.”

This latest funding round for Cazoo  was led by DMG Ventures alongside other investors including General Catalyst, CNP (Groupe Frère), Mubadala Capital, Octopus Ventures, Eight Roads Ventures and Stride.VC.

Cazoo owns and reconditions all its cars – through a stock acquisition deal struck with BCA – before offering them for sale and delivering them free to customer’s doors in a convenient two-hour delivery slot.

Every Cazoo car comes with a seven-day money-back guarantee, free comprehensive 90-day warranty and roadside assistance. Buyers can purchase or finance one of the thousands of Cazoo cars entirely online as well as getting an instant offer for any part-exchange.

Cazoo has recently adjusted its thorough vehicle handovers in acknowledgement of car buyers concerns surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and now ensures that the process is completed at a safe distance in order to protect both its customers and employees.

As with other retail marketplaces, the current Coronavirus situation is accelerating the shift from offline to online transactions given its unique delivery proposition.

Chesterman said: “Our mission is to deliver the best experience for car buyers across the UK by delivering better selection, value, convenience and quality.

“That mission is now also focused on keeping consumers safe by not having to leave their homes to buy a car.

“We are also looking at how Cazoo can help other organisations move essential supplies around the country via our fleet of car transporters in these difficult times.”

Commenting on Cazoo’s latest funding round Manuel Lopo de Carvalho, of DMG Ventures, said: “We are very excited to continue to support Alex and the team at Cazoo.

“The pace of what they’ve achieved and the level of adoption they’ve seen in the first few months since launch is remarkable. With almost 8 million used car transactions a year in the UK, there is a clear opportunity to provide a more convenient way to buy a car and shift part of the market online.”

Last week Big Motoring World chief executive Peter Waddell and former Cox Automotive president of international operations John Bailey revealed that they would be going head-to-head with Cazoo with the launch of Carzam – a new "Amazon-style" online car retail platform.

Set to reach the UK market next month, within months of the long-awaiting launch of Chesterman’s Cazoo online car retail operation, the new business will aim to make serious inroads into the UK’s eight million annual used car sales transactions with the help of a next-day delivery service and seven-day, no quibble returns guarantee.

Big Motoring World chief executive Peter Waddell and former Cox Automotive president of international operations John Bailey are set to launch Carzam – a new "Amazon-style" online car retail platform.

The launch comes at a time when online selling could claim a larger share of the UK’s used car retail market as consumers look to avoid showroom visits and direct contact due to the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus.

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