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The 5 powerful acquisitions by UK’s Cazoo in 2021

Cazoo

Founded in 2018 by serial entrepreneur Alex Chesterman OBE, Cazoo is an online used car marketplace firm created to change the way people purchase, finance, or lease used cars. 

2021 has been a great year for the company as it reached the milestone of reporting revenues up 600% YOY during the pandemic and joining the unicorn club. Further, this year it also confirmed $7bn SPAC plans to list on the NYSE via a merger with Ajax, a special purpose acquisition company.

At the same time, Cazoo is aggressively seeking continental European expansion plans. The UK-based online car retailer has done many acquisitions this year, with the latest one being Spain’s Swipcar.

Image credits: Swipcar

Swipcar

16 November 2021

Already operating in Spain, Italy, and Portugal, Barcelona-based Swipcar is a leading car subscription marketplace and has been acquired by Cazoo for €30M(£25.2M) in cash and Cazoo shares.

The deal will bring together Cazoo’s market-leading brand and platform with Swipcar’s southern European knowledge and relationships, accelerating the introduction of Cazoo’s comprehensive offering in these countries, the company said in a press note.

Swipcar was founded in 2018 and now employs over 100 people in Barcelona. It offers a wide range of automobiles from multiple leasing company partners for a single monthly subscription price, including the car, insurance, maintenance, servicing, and tax.

“Swipcar has developed a market-leading car subscription business in Spain, gaining hundreds of new customers every month,” said Alex Chesterman OBE, Founder & CEO of Cazoo. This agreement will allow us to move on with our plans to start in Spain and Italy, where consumers will be able to buy, sell, finance, or subscribe to a car totally online. I’m looking forward to welcoming Julio and his team to Cazoo and working with them to provide the greatest possible experience to European automobile buyers.”

“I am really pleased with the platform and people we have established at Swipcar,” says Julio Ribes, CEO of Swipcar. Thousands of loyal customers and major industry players have formed solid relationships with us. Cazoo has a clear vision and strategy that is completely aligned with ours, and we look forward to working together to accelerate Cazoo’s debut and the digital revolution of the car buying, selling, and subscription experience in Spain and across Europe.”

Image credits: SMH Fleet Solutions

SMH Fleet Solutions

15 September 2021

Also, Cazoo acquired SMH Fleet Solutions (SMH), one of the UK’s leading vehicle preparation, logistics and storage businesses. 

Founded in 2003, SMH has over 500+ professionals currently preparing more than 70,000 vehicle refurbishments yearly from 6 vehicle preparation sites across 136 acres in Bedford, Gloucester, Throckmorton, Worcester and St Helens. SMH also carries out over 150,000 vehicle movements per year with a team of over 300 logistics specialists and operates an online wholesale platform for used cars.

Image credits: Vans365

Yet to complete – Vans365

18 October 2021

To expand its offering into commercial vehicles, Cazoo agreed to acquire Vans365 recently. It is a leading independent online commercial vehicle retailer in the UK with experienced in-house technicians and customer service specialists based in Bristol. It buys and sells hundreds of vans monthly and achieves excellent customer feedback with a 4.8 Trustpilot score.

Image credits: Cazana

Cazana

2 September 2021

Meanwhile, in September, Cazana was acquired by Cazoo for £25 million in cash. Founded by Tom Wood in 2012, Cazana helps motor retailers, insurers and lenders digitally remodel with big data and machine learning technology. 

The London-based company built an extensive dataset of over 500 million vehicle transactions from over 40 countries including, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. Further, Cazana’s products incorporate real-time vehicle valuation, pricing, and stock management tools. 

Image credits: Cluno

Cluno

23 February 2021

In February, they also acquired Cluno, Germany’s ‘Netflix of car subscriptions’, at an undisclosed amount. 

Founded in 2017, Cluno has grown to an organisation of over 100 based in Munich. They offer a flexible and hassle-free option to car ownership, allowing a choice of up to 100 makes and models, with a single monthly subscription fee including the car, maintenance, service, warranty, tax and insurance.

Image credits: Smart Fleet Solutions

Smart Fleet Solutions (SFS)

11 February 2021

In the same month, Cazoo also acquired Smart Fleet Solutions (SFS), independent vehicle reconditioning and storage specialists from the UK for an undisclosed amount. 

SFS has over 500 staff operating from 4 state-of-the-art vehicle refurbishment facilities across 110 acres in Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire and Scotland. The company concocts over 100,000 vehicles yearly with storage capabilities for over 20,000 vehicles.

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