As first announced as their intention in March and since approved by shareholders of both organisations, AJAX and Cazoo have now combined under a new holding company, Cazoo Group Ltd. The Group will receive proceeds of over $1 billion before expenses from the transaction to further build out its brand and infrastructure as it continues to transform the car buying and selling experience across the UK and mainland Europe. Today, Cazoo Group will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Cazoo will continue to be led by Founder & Chief Executive Officer, serial entrepreneur Alex Chesterman, alongside the existing senior management team including Chief Financial Officer, Stephen Morana. Daniel Och, renowned US investor and Founder of AJAX, and Anne Wojcicki, founder of 23andMe, will also join the Cazoo Group board of directors along with Duncan Tatton-Brown (Audit Chair), Moni Mannings (Remuneration Chair), Luciana Berger (ESG Chair), Lord Rothermere (Non-Exec) and David Hobbs (Non-Exec) of D1 Capital Partners.
Cazoo is pioneering the shift to online car buying in Europe and since being founded in 2018, has delivered over 20,000 cars to consumers across the UK who have embraced the selection, transparency and convenience of buying quality used cars entirely online. Draper Esprit first invested in Cazoo in its Series C funding round in June 2020. Following its recent acquisitions, Cazoo is also now Europe’s leading car subscription player with over 6,000 subscribers across the UK, Germany and France.
This combination will support Cazoo’s mission to continue to transform the car buying experience across Europe, with the proceeds funding the further build out of its brand and infrastructure. With its best-in-class and unique consumer proposition and fully integrated model, Cazoo is well positioned to take advantage of the shift to online car buying and disrupt the huge and highly fragmented European car buying market.
Will Turner, Managing Partner, Growth Fund at Draper Esprit, commented:
“Our ethos is to back serial entrepreneurs time and again, which is why it's incredibly satisfying to see Cazoo enter the public markets today. We backed Alex Chesterman in his first breakout success – LoveFilm – and invested in Cazoo in no small part because we think he's a rock star operator; one of the best of his breed in Europe.
“Cazoo took the opportunity to disrupt the European market in the same way that Carvana and Vroom had before it in the US. A key tenet of its success is an astute observation of consumer behaviour: four years ago, it would be rare for people to spend £20,000 online. Now, partly because of Covid, it’s a much smoother and more comfortable experience; we’re seeing it more and more. As this, along with the cars-as-a-service model which it is cultivating, continues to flourish, we expect Cazoo to use its influence to drive shareholder growth and thrive as a leader in its field.”
Martin Davis, CEO at Draper Esprit, commented:
“As a listed VC firm, we are especially delighted to see our portfolio companies list themselves and we offer our congratulations to Cazoo Group today. Cazoo was a bright star from the moment it incorporated and it is testament to depth of our network, the foresight of our Fund of Funds programme and our listed model that we able to support Cazoo's stellar growth trajectory. As Cazoo Group looks to its future we will keep working with our seed funds to identify the next generation of outstanding early stage companies."
Alex Chesterman OBE, Founder & CEO of Cazoo, commented:
“Today is an exciting day for Cazoo as we enter the public markets. Since announcing the transaction earlier this year, we have continued to see record growth in our revenues and gross profit, and we have also launched a fully integrated all-inclusive monthly car subscription service in the UK as well as our car buying service to source inventory directly from consumers.
“We remain obsessed with delivering the best car buying and selling experience for consumers across the UK and mainland Europe and the capital raised from this transaction will give us the resources to further accelerate our growth.”