British online car retailer, Cazoo, is reportedly making plans to go public at a valuation of well over £5B (approx €5.7B). If Cazoo does decide to go public, it will not be until later this year, Sky News reports.
According to the report, the company could either go for a London listing, “but that a merger with a New York-listed special purpose acquisition company was at least as likely an outcome.”
Alex Chesterman, the founder and CEO of Cazoo, is already in talks with bankers at Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Numis “on options for accelerating its growth prospects.”
The company aims to become the “Uber” of the “used car marketplace”. Cazoo claims that it wants its customers’ car buying experience to be seamless, transparent, and convenient just like purchasing any other product online.
The company lists thousands of cars in stock at any time, all stored centrally in the Midlands. They are available either for home delivery anywhere in the UK or collection from one of its Cazoo Customer Centres within 72 hours. Every Cazoo car comes with a full 7-day money-back guarantee and a comprehensive 90-day warranty.
The platform currently sponsoring Premier League teams including Aston Villa and Everton, claims to have become “the country’s leading online car retailer” since its launch.
Who’s behind Cazoo?
Cazoo is the brainchild of Alex Chesterman. In 2003, he co-founded LoveFilm, which brought a transformation in the DVD rental market in the UK. Later, in 2008, he came up with Zoopla, which brought transparency and efficiency in the proptech market. Zoopla was later acquired by Silver Lake in 2018 in a £2B (approx €2.3M) deal.
And in the same year, 2018, Cazoo was born. “Used cars are one of the last remaining consumer markets yet to benefit from any digital transformation,” the entrepreneur said soon after its launch.
To date, Cazoo has raised around £450M (approx €520M) from investors and has a workforce of about 2,000 people, mostly through a number of acquisitions.
A spokesperson for the firm told Sky News via a statement, “Cazoo is pioneering the shift to online car buying in the UK and, since our launch just over a year ago, we have already sold almost 20,000 cars to consumers across the UK who have embraced the selection, transparency and convenience of buying high quality used cars entirely online.”
“As one of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses, with revenues of over £160M (approx €184.9M) in our first year alone, it is not surprising that there is speculation around whether or when we might IPO but we do not comment on speculation and should we have an announcement to make on this or any other matter we shall do so at the appropriate time,” the statement adds.
If this move goes through, and the valuation of the company reaches around £6B, then Alex Chesterman, who owns 30 per cent of the stake in the company will bag another £1.8B to his name.
Earlier this month, the company acquired Smart Fleet Solutions (SFS), a UK-based independent vehicle reconditioning and storage specialist, for an undisclosed sum. This deal follows Cazoo’s acquisition of Drover, another UK-based car subscription platform that enabled Cazoo to offer its customers the option of purchasing, financing, or subscribing to the cars on its website with an aim to transform the car buying experience in the country.