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Carwow revs up expansion plans in $55m raise

Carwow funding

Carwow, a London-based online car marketplace, has raised $55m (£41.3m) in funding from US firm Hercules Capital.

Carwow will use the venture debt funding to accelerate technology and platform development, international expansion, and user growth. 

The British company said it will create 150 roles in its ‘Sell Your Car’ division over next month, in addition to the team of 350.

The Sell Your Car service lets consumers list their car with images and invites dealers to bid on it.

Founded by Alexandra Margolis, David Santoro, and James Hind, Carwow is an online marketplace for buying new cars and helping consumers sell their current cars.

In June 2021, Carwow acquired Wizzle to connect more online car buyers with more dealers, along with the option to prioritise offering cars to dealers directly.  

Prior to the acquisition, Carwow had only been able to provide a single offer from a single provider. 

Carwow said it’s witnessed a 600% growth for the Sell Your Car division in six months after the launch. It claims revenues across the business increased by 60% in 2021. 

It is the first time Carwow has received backing from a US VC and it follows a 2019 funding round in which it raised £25m.

“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,” said Carwow founder and CEO, James Hind. 

“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.”

Hind said his company has sold cars with a cumulative value of £200m in the six months via Sell Your Car, while it has sold new cars with a value of $4.2bn in 2021 across the UK, Germany and Spain.

“All this has been achieved so rapidly by just leveraging what already exists within Carwow; our huge reach via content, our great relationship with dealers, and our in-house technology. We now plan to use part of the additional funding to advertise Sell Your Car to all car owners,” Hind added.  

Carwow is also testing Sell Your Car in Germany with a view to global expansion. It competes with the likes of Clutch, Maihaoche and AUTO2000.