Driverama Launches Early Amid Online Used-Car Dealer Boom

Driverama, a new online used-car dealership, is launching half a year early to capitalize on consumers’ shift from analog to digital when buying their next automobile.

Part of Prague-based pre-owned vehicle dealer Aures Holdings, Driverama plans to launch in Germany with more than 5,000 of its own inspected cars before expanding to 11 countries by 2025, according to Aures founder Anthony Denny.

Online car sales have surged during Covid-19 lockdowns as traditional dealerships have been forced to shut. Among the companies to have benefited are Cazoo Ltd., the British used car platform that in March agreed to sell itself to special purpose acquisition company Ajax I in a $7 billion deal, and Auto1 Group SE, which raised 1.8 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in an initial public offering in February.

Denny said he’d been surprised by some of the valuations and wanted to launch Driverama ahead of any price cooling in the sector.

“We’re moving six months ahead of schedule because of all the noise surrounding Cazoo’s sale to a SPAC and the recent IPO of Auto1,” Denny said in an interview. “When we come for a capital raise, I don’t want there to have been a deflated bubble.”

Another group thriving amid the transition to buying cars over the internet is U.S.-based Carvana Co., with its no-haggle pricing and no-questions-asked returns policy.

“That has good stock and systems,” Denny said of Carvana. “That’s where we would like to be in three to four years time.”

Companies like Cazoo and Carvana allow consumers to buy used and restored cars online and then have them delivered to their door. Driverama wants to offer this service to users across borders.

Backed by private equity firm Abris Capital Partners, Aures has invested 75 million euros in its technology platforms, Denny said. As much as 400 million euros in follow-up investment has been earmarked for helping Driverama to grow, he said.

Denny sold a majority stake in his used-car dealership AAA Auto to Abris in 2014. The rebranded business Aures operates a network of 45 dealerships across the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

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