Thursday, October 15, 2020

"Cazoo, the UK used car sales platform, raises another $311M, now valued at over $2.5B"

Two quick points:

1) Used vehicles seem to be a good business now and for the foreseeable future as the middle-class disappears.

2) These European equity rounds are getting bigger, we've seen at least a half-dozen mid-eight to nine figure fund-raisings in just the last month.

From TechCrunch, October 1:

A lot of people are opting to use cars instead of taking public transportation in the U.K. at the moment, as a way of ensuring more social distancing, and today one of the startups that’s built a more efficient way of selling and buying cars is announcing a big round of funding. Cazoo, which provides an app-based way to browse and buy used cars (it’s modeled on the likes of Vroom in the U.S.), has picked up £240 million ($311 million).

The funding comes only six months after the company raised $116 million. A Cazoo spokesperson has confirmed that the company is now valued at over £2 billion (or over $2.5 billion), double its previous valuation. (For some context, the company confirmed a $1 billion valuation this summer, and others had estimated it at a much lower amount.)

This latest funding is being led by General Catalyst, D1 Capital Partners and funds managed by Fidelity Management & Research Company and Blackrock, with other new and existing investors participating. The list includes L Catterton, Durable Capital Partners, The Spruce House Partnership, Novator, Mubadala Capital and dmg ventures. It brings the total raised by the company to date to £450 million ($582 million).

The company has come back to us to confirm that this is an all-equity round, no debt. (Debt plays a big role in funding for companies that need to take on a lot of assets, like cars, in order for the business model to function. As we’ve seen with others in the same category of disrupting car sales, like Fair, sometimes the debt far outstrips equity funding, and as we’ve seen with Fair, sometimes even a lot of money cannot help a business work.)...