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Cazoo's rapid growth secures 'unicorn' status with $1bn valuation

Cazoo founder Alex Chesterman OBE

The online car retailer Cazoo claims to have become the fastest UK business ever to achieve a valuation in excess of $1 billion (£800.8m) – joining an exclusive list of companies known as ‘unicorns’.

Last week AM speculated as to whether the appointment of Stephen Morana as its new chief financial officer (CFO), could pave the way to a public offering.

Cazoo highlighted in a statement announcing Morana’s arrival how he had previously played a central role in the flotation two leading UK digital businesses in recent years, Betfair and Zoopla, both achieving “multi-billion-pound valuations”.

Today (June 23) the business, founded 18 months ago by Zoopla and LOVEFiLM founder Alex Chesterman was celebrating its unicorn status, having launched only six months ago.

Chesterman, who is also the business’s founder and chief executive, said: “We have an amazing team who are dedicated to reinventing the used car buying experience by providing the best selection, value, quality, and convenience for UK car buyers.

“Despite the current challenges many businesses are facing, Britain remains a market leader for talent and innovation and a great place to start a business.”

Cazoo’s latest £25m funding round, which was concluded yesterday (June 22), saw new investor Draper Esprit join existing investors including DMG Ventures and General Catalyst to take the total raised by the online car retailer to over £200m – making it one of the UK’s best-funded start-ups ever.

The company also recently announced that it would be the new shirt sponsor of Premier League football Club, Everton from the start of the 2020/21 season.

Cazoo resumed its online used car trading activities on April 15 as many franchised retailers were working hard to streamline their own online platforms and implement measures to ensure the safe delivery of vehicle in the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Since then, the business has continued with its USP of being able to deliver a vehicle to a customers’ door in as little as 72 hours, offering the option of a seven-day money back guarantee.

Every Cazoo car also comes with a free comprehensive 90-day warranty and roadside assistance.   

Cazoo owns and fully reconditions all its cars – via an agreement with BCA – before offering them for sale and delivering them to customers' doors in a convenient two-hour delivery slot.

In an interview with AM magazine, published in the April 2020 digital edition, Chesterman said: "To those who say this isn't what consumers want, I'm here to tell them that they are wrong."


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