carwow, the site that offers a better way to buy a new car, today announces a £12.5 million ($18.75 million) Series B investment led by Accel. Previous investors Balderton Capital, Samos Investments and Episode 1 Ventures, its first backer, also participated in the round, which follows a £4.6 million Series A investment in December 2014. The Investment will fuel company’s growth as it continues to transform the car buying experience for consumers and dealers
carwow was launched by James Hind (CEO), Alexandra Margolis and David Santoro in 2013 to make car buying a delightful experience from discovery through to purchase. The platform turns the traditional car buying process on its head: buyers pick the car they like, and then carwow sends up to five offers from the best-rated dealers in Britain. If interested, the buyer can contact the dealer anonymously through the carwow system and buy the car directly from the dealer.
The service is free for consumers and through carwow, buyers save a substantial £3,600 on average off the price of a new car, while dealers benefit from lower marketing costs, a faster sales process, and exposure to a younger, web-savvy target market.
Consumers and dealers alike enjoy the benefits of a beautifully-designed website that allows car buyers to get the right car at a great price from a great dealer. Over £400 million-worth of cars have been bought through the platform.
Traditionally, buyers have to travel to a number of different dealerships before making a purchase, while dealers are required to spend a great deal of time and resources on a lengthy sales experience. Neither buyers nor dealers enjoy the often difficult price-haggling part of the process.
Hind said, “We’re excited to roll out our service even further on the back of strong growth in 2015. A new car is an important purchase, typically a person’s biggest after their home. At carwow, we enjoy working with the industry to make things simpler and more efficient for all involved. This new round of funding gives us the firepower we need to change the way the UK buys cars.”
Zeinab Salem, of Mercedes-Benz of Grimsby, said: “Car buyers are so much better informed now, and it’s likely that they’ve chosen the make and model of car they want to buy next before they even step foot in a showroom – they simply need to make an informed and educated decision about who to buy the car from. carwow is a fantastic and innovative way for customers to compare deals available in the marketplace, and it makes dealers fight harder for their precious business.”
carwow will use the new funding to fuel further growth through brand-building and marketing. In addition, the company will look to improve their service through new products and offerings.
As part of the investment, Fred Destin, Partner at Accel, will be joining the board. Destin said: “carwow reminds me of Zoopla in the early days – they’re changing the discovery experience through a superb online platform and better information and are creating a win-win for consumers and dealers, brought to you by a wonderful founding team.”
Rob Moffat, Partner of Balderton Capital, said: “The company has grown more than 10 times, and has built a great operation since Balderton first invested two years ago. But the founding team don’t want to stop here, and have much greater ambition. We believe that carwow is in a position to lead the evolution of the car retail experience over the coming years.”
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