Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman drives away with £30m funding for used car startup

 
Harry Banks
Alex Chesterman wants customers to be able to avoid dodgy car sellers with a new online venture (Source: Cazoo )

Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman wants to cut out the awkward tyre-kicking from buying a used car with a new startup.


Chesterman, who sold Zoopla for £2.2bn earlier this year, said Cazoo aimed to make buying a car “no different to buying any other product online today”.

The entrepreneur, who will serve as Cazoo’s CEO, has £30m in funding lined up from the Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT), Stride Capital, Octopus Ventures and Entree Capital.

Current online used car offerings are largely listings of cars available to see in person while Cazoo will deliver cars directly to buyers’ doors.

Around 8m used cars are sold every year in the UK.


Buying a car without test-driving might be a hard sell for some, but the company said it would offer a “new proposition in terms of transparency, value, selection and experience”.

Chesterman said he saw a sector ready for change.

“[I] am very excited by the opportunity to transform the used car buying experience, which suffers from poor satisfaction and convenience and is failing to meet the needs of consumers,” he said.

This will be the second major tie-up between Chesterman and DMGT after a 2012 deal in which Lord Rothermere’s group merged its sites Findaproperty and PrimeLocation with Zoopla.

DMGT CEO Paul Zwillenberg said Chesterman’s record in DVD rentals with Lovefilm and real estate showed he could disrupt another market.

“He has an unparalleled track record of identifying and capitalising on opportunities for technology to disrupt whole industries, delivering tremendous value for consumers and shareholders alike,” he said.

Cazoo will launch in the coming months, the company said.

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