Fueled by the pandemic, digital car sales are still going strong. On Monday (Dec 6.), London-based online car marketplace Carwow announced that it has secured $55 million in new funding, as it looks to take on rivals in the new and used vehicle market.
Launched in 2011, Carwow started out as an online marketplace for buying new cars, but it recently expanded to include a “Sell Your Car” division after acquiring Wizzle, an online platform where consumers can list their car, compare offers from interested dealers and sell directly to the dealer of their choice.
The British company, which counts 12.5 million users, said it will use the investment to grow this new division, which saw a 600% growth in the first six months after the launch in June, and boosted overall business revenue by 60% in 2021.
“We’re incredibly pleased with how quickly our users and trade buyers have taken to Sell Your Car, proving the value of a unified, digital selling and buying experience,” Carwow Founder and CEO James Hind told UK Tech.
Hind added: “The size of our customer base and reach of our brand gives us a significant platform for growth advantage but this latest investment will help supercharge our service and experience on all fronts.”
He went on to say that the firm’s achievements were made by leveraging existing features within Carwow as well as its relationship with car dealers and in-house technology.
The platform is one of the fast-growing online marketplaces not just in the U.K. but across Europe, selling new cars worth a value of $4.2 billion in 2021 across the U.K., Germany and Spain.
The firm’s competitors include Motorway, which recently announced that it had raised $190 million in new funding at a $1 billion valuation, giving the U.K. its latest unicorn.
Founded in 2017, the secondhand car marketplace uses an auction system to match car retailers with private sellers and sold $405 million worth of used cars in the third quarter of 2021 alone, representing a 300% increase compared to the same period last year.
Related: UK’s Cazoo Launches in France and Germany, Intensifies Competition in Europe’s Used Car Market
Another unicorn in the online used car space, Cazoo, recently launched its marketplace in both France and Germany, after making its first step toward European expansion in February with the purchase of Germany’s leading car subscription service, Cluno.
Read more: UK Online Car Retailer Cazoo Projects $1B in Revenue by the End of 2021
In September, the retailer announced a record performance for its first-half 2021 financial results driven by the pandemic, with over 20,000 in car sales and a 521% year-on-year increase in revenue to hit 248 million pounds ($335.6 million).
Outside the U.K., regional behemoth and one of Europe’s biggest digital automotive platforms, Auto1, serves customers in over 30 countries through its merchant (AUTO1.com) and retail (Autohero) brands.
Founded in 2012, the Berlin-based, SoftBank-backed firm generated 2.83 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in revenue in 2020 prior to raising $2.2 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) earlier this year.