Car buying website Hellocar has closed a £1m Seed round to launch in Manchester ahead of its national roll-out.
Led by JamJar Investments, the round also drew support from Alex Chesterman, founder and CEO of Zoopla Property Group.
Henry Lane Fox, part of the founding team behind lastminute.com and CEO of Founders Factory, where Hellocar was born, will join the company’s board as a director.
Founded by Nic Carnell, Hellocar seeks to transform the UK’s £45bn used car market by cutting out the dealer from the purchasing process.
Carnell said: “With trust in the used car industry even lower than estate agents and banks, it’s no surprise that four-out-of-five consumers still find the process of buying a car stressful.
“The majority of customers now conduct research online before visiting a forecourt and visits to dealerships have almost halved in just three years.
“Despite this, there’s been no notable innovation in the industry for years and the time is right to change that. We’re taking the process of buying a car from three months to three minutes,” the car industry entrepreneur added.
Adam Balon, Innocent Drinks founder and a partner at JamJar Investments commented on his decision to invest in the firm: “We see a huge opportunity for consumers to buy used cars at a better price and more conveniently than with traditional dealers. Hellocar is in a prime position to achieve this.”
The startup has partnered with the AA to provide inspections and a warranty and with Aviva to provide insurance.
“The partnership with the AA ensures peace of mind for consumers that a private purchase can’t bring. Nic truly understands the industry and is building an exceptional team to deliver a better experience for consumers,” concluded Balon.