Carwow, an online new car sales platform, has closed a £25m funding round, led by German vehicle manufacturer Daimler AG.
The funding injection will be used to accelerate growth for Carwow in the UK, Germany and Spain. The company plans to invest in talent, product development and marketing.
The platform is designed to help consumers through the car-buying journey with plentiful information and reviews, transparency on pricing and ratings across the site’s network of dealerships. More than £5bn’s worth of cars have been bought on the platform since the company launched – representing 5% of the total UK market.
Since launching in Germany in 2016, the company has experienced rapid growth and now accounts for 1.5% of all new retail car sales. The Spanish operation, launched a year ago, expects to sell €200 million worth of vehicles by the end of this year.
Existing investors Balderton Capital, Accel and Vitruvian Partners are all reinvesting in the technology platform, while Daimler’s Axel Harries will take a seat on the firm’s board of directors. The investment round marks the first time Carwow has opened up to strategic investors.
“When carwow was founded, there was a view from the industry that there might be some resistance for a model that levelled the playing field for consumers and dealers,” said James Hind. “Having one of the world’s leading car manufacturers investing in the future growth and success of our business is a real proof point that this is a solution that works.
“This demonstrates that the industry perspective is shifting to what we anticipated when we launched, not only that the car purchasing journey was primed to move into the digital era, but that dealers and manufacturers can greatly reap the benefits of more informed and empowered customers.”
Rob Moffat, partner at Balderton Capital, added: “We are delighted to bring Daimler on board at carwow, alongside further investment from Balderton, Accel and Vitruvian. This investment from one of the leading global car manufacturers demonstrates how strategically important carwow is becoming for online car sales across Europe.”