Zoopla founder raises £30m for new car website venture

The serial entrepreneur behind the Zoopla house-hunting website has raised more than £30 million for his next venture, which is aimed at disrupting Britain’s used car industry.

Alex Chesterman, who made a windfall selling Lovefilm, the video rental company he co-founded, to retail giant Amazon seven years ago, is to launch Cazoo, a car buying and rental website.

Through the Cazoo platform customers will be able to buy, finance or rent a used car online and have it delivered it their door within 48 hours.

Mr Chesterman has set his sights on the car industry following ventures in film and property.

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Alex Chesterman’s Lovefilm was sold to Amazon for £200m in 2011 (Yui Mok/PA)

In 2003, he launched DVD rental company ScreenSelect, which later became Lovefilm and was offloaded to Amazon for £200 million in 2011.

In 2008, he founded property platform Zoopla, which floated in 2014 and was recently sold for more than £2.2 billion to US private equity fund Silver Lake.

Cazoo is backed by seed funding from the owner of the Daily Mail newspaper, Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), as well as Stride Capital, Octopus Ventures, Entree Capital and others.

Mr Chesterman said: “I’m delighted to announce this investment in my latest venture, Cazoo, and 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.

“Buying a car should be no different to buying any other product online today.”

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Zoopla was founded by Alex Chesterman in 2008 (Zoopla/PA)

DMTG was biggest shareholder in ZPG, the company that owns Zoopla, as well as comparison websites Uswitch and Money and property website Primelocation.

Paul Zwillenberg, chief executive of DMGT, said: “We are delighted to back Alex again in his new venture. 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.

“The UK used car market is worth over £50 billion per annum and is yet to enjoy the benefits of digital transformation that Cazoo will deliver.”

Cazoo said the funds will be used to expand the team, website and operations.