Auto1 Group adds new investors; valuation reportedly $2 billion

23 Dec 2016

Courtesy of Auto1 Group GmbH

Auto1 Group, the Berlin company that operates b-to-b and b-to-c auto sites across Europe and the U.S., has secured new investment, the online German start-up magazine Gruenderszene.de reported.

According to sources cited in the article (here in German), Auto1 closed a Series E round of funding this month on a valuation of possibly up to $2 billion U.S. The round included two new investors, Target Global and Baillie Gifford. Details of the deal were not divulged.

The global investment firm Baillie Gifford, based in Scotland, has invested in Seek, the Australia-based global recruitment advertising company; Zillow, the U.S. real estate site, and RightMove, the U.K. property site. Its other investments include AirBnB, Spotify, Home24 and HelloFresh. Target Global, an international venture capital firm, also has a stake in Delivery Hero.

Assuming the report is accurate, Auto1 Group’s newly-received investment marks an important chapter in the European unicorn’s four-year success story. In April 2015, Auto1 Group raised $117 million U.S. from four investors, including DST Global and Piton Capital, at a valuation of about $1.2 billion U.S.

Two months after announcing that round, co-founder Hakan Koc told Gruenderszene that Auto1 Group wanted to do more fundraising to support its international expansion, with an emphasis on the U.S. So, 20 months later, it appears to have happened. It also seems that Auto1 Group’s growth is remarkable, since its valuation has apparently nearly doubled in that time.

Before the Series E round, Auto1 Group had pulled in around $293 million U.S. in investments overall.

The fast-growing holding company operates as an online auto dealership through numerous independently-branded subsidiaries in more than 20 countries. Through b-to-c portals like Wirkaufendeinauto.de and Autohero.com, it buys used autos from private sellers, which it then sells to dealerships via its b-to-b platforms like Auto1.com.

Auto1 Group now has 2,000 employees, Gruenderszene reported.

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Kate Rodriguez

Kate Rodriguez covers the German market for AIM Group. She is a freelance business writer with an extensive background in public policy, business consulting and marketing. Originally from the U.S., Kate is now based in Munich.