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Cazoo launches online used car retail platform with £80m backing

Cazoo and Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman

Cazoo has launched its UK used car retail portal with pre-launch backing of £80 million and a stock of BCA-supplied 1,500 vehicles to boost its chances of success.

In a year that has already brought about the launch of BCA’s customer-facing cinch platform, and the new Volkswagen and Daimler-backed heycar entrant to a list of names attempting to break the online dominance of Auto Trader, Cazoo officially launched today (December 2), vowing to “transform how eight million used cars are bought each year by putting the entire process online”.

Cazoo takes the form of a car retailer rather than a marketing portal, however, due to the fact it owns all the cars offered for sale, launching with over 1,500 cars in stock after signing a car provision agreement with BCA earlier this year.

With no forecourts or sales people, Cazoo has launched with the claim that it is able to pass on overhead savings to its customers - effectively ‘Amazon-ing’ the used car market.

The new online car retail business has been founded by, Alex Chesterman, who has previously founded LoveFilm and Zoopla, and factors home delivery into the online retail process.

The founder and chief executive said: “Used cars are one of the last remaining consumer markets yet to benefit from any digital transformation.

“Cazoo makes used car buying simple and convenient like buying any other product online today. We take away the need to travel, to haggle, to spend countless hours at a dealership and to risk any buyer’s remorse.

“With Cazoo, you can purchase or finance a used car entirely online, have it delivered to your door in as little as 72 hours and have seven days to make sure it fits your lifestyle. And if you don’t love your Cazoo car, we’ll come and collect it for free.”

Cazoo customers can inspect 360-degree images of their chosen vehicle as well as the car’s features and history.

Prices are fixed, so there is no haggling and customers can simply and seamlessly purchase or finance a car entirely online and have it delivered directly to their door in as little as 72 hours.

Every car comes with a seven-day money-back guarantee, which Cazoo claims “is destined to replace the traditional seven-minute test-drive around the block”, adding that customers who don’t love their car will have it collected for free.

Cazoo announced a further £25m of funding today, taking the total raised since being founded one year ago to over £80m and making it one of the UK’s best funded new businesses ever.

Venture capital firms General Catalyst and Mubadala Capital are among the companies pledging cash to help the business grow its team and further invest in marketing and operations.

Speaking at last week’s Vehicle Remarketing Association Vision 2020 conference, ClickDealer partner Gerry Moxham, said of Cazoo's impending launch: “We have been providing transactional products for retailers since 2018 but there are still consumes out there that aren’t aware of any other vehicle.

“I can only assume that Cazoo are going to invest very heavily in marketing and I believe that drawing attention to that alternative offering can only help to raise consumer awareness and expectations of what they should expect from their retailer. I think that could be good for retailers and the whole market.”




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