UK tech startup Carwow, which connects new car buyers with authorised dealers, has raised $39m (£29.7m) in a Series C round led by new investor Vitruvian Partners.

Existing backers Accel Partners and Balderton Capital also took part in the round.

Launched in 2013 by CEO James Hind; creative director Alexandra Margolis; and chief technology officer David Santoro; Carwow had previously raised £18m.

The new funding will be used to strengthen its position in the car buying market, bolster its marketing efforts and grow its car dealer network.

Carwow, which currently employs 140 in its London head office, is also looking to grow its team.

“We’re relentlessly focused on creating the best car buying experience which benefits consumers, dealers and manufacturers. This new funding will allow us to put even more consumers in the driving seat when buying their next car. We’ll invest even further in improving our service for our partner dealers and manufacturers, who work with us to provide consumers an excellent way to buy a new car.

“We are very pleased to have Vitruvian Partners leading this new round of financing. They bring with them much expertise in growing international consumer-facing online marketplaces, and will add a lot of value,” said Hind.

Speaking about the fundraise, Thomas Studd, a partner at Vitruvian Partners, said: “It’s clear to see the value that Carwow provides consumers who are looking to buy a new car but what also became evident during the investment process are the significant benefits that carwow delivers to both its partner dealers and car manufacturers.

“Dealers are particularly enthusiastic as Carwow’s highly qualified leads allow dealers to address the market much more efficiently – a third of all calls from Carwow consumers end in the sale of a car. We are delighted and excited to partner with Carwow and to help accelerate its international expansion and deepen its offering within the UK new car market.”

This round of funding comes after the firm closed a £1.3m Seed in February 2014, a £4.6m Series A in December 2014 and a £12.5m Series B in January 2016.

Carwow is also operating in Germany, where it launched last year.

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