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‘Zoopla for cars’ carwow raises £1.3m led by Balderton

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Car-buying platform carwow has raised £1.3 million in a seed funding round led by Balderton Capital.

Dubbed the Zoopla of cars, the firm’s other investors include the founder of Zoopla itself, Alex Chesterman.

Also participating are Episode 1 Ventures, backers of Betfair and Shazam, and Samos Investments, whose investments include Ocado and PKR.com.

Pimp my ride

carwow, says founder James Hind, is designed to take the frustration out of buying a brand new car.

Cars are the only product where consumers still have to haggle face to face with a salesperson and most consumers don’t enjoy the whole process.

The idea is to give the process the same price transparency as we have grown to expect from the housing market.

Consumers use the platform to build the car they’d like to buy, and then receive offers from dealers to compare online.

carwow officially launched in February 2014, but since their beta launch in May 2013, over £30m worth of cars have already bought through the site.

Hitting the ground running

London-based Balderton Capital manages more than $2.1 billion, and has previously backed LOVEFiLM, Wonga, Betfair, MySQL, Bebo, Yoox, Housetrip and NaturalMotion.

carwow is their fourth investment this year, after leading a $30 million of funding for Indiegogo, $14 million for Lyst,  and a $7 million series B round for GoCardless.

The start of the year has also seen their exit of videogames and animation developer NaturalMotion to San Fransisco’s Zynga for $650 million.

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