Motorway, a British used-car marketplace, has secured £11 million ($14 million U.S.) in a Series A funding round led by existing investors Marchmont Ventures and LocalGlobe.

The auto vertical was founded by the group who ran mobile and broadband comparison site Top10 in 2017. The latter was sold to USwitch in 2011. Motorway received £2.75 million ($3.50 million U.S.) in seed funding from Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla and the man behind Cazoo, the automotive portal to be launched later this year. Zoopla’s parent ZPG bought USwitch in 2015 — which could explain Chesterman’s interest.

Motorway aims to make digital vehicle trading simpler. Sellers can see instant live offers from car buying services and dealerships. They can also compare offers, buyer reviews, fees, and collection options. The company operates a commission-based revenue model, with buyers paying a percentage on each vehicle found and bought on Motorway.

Motorway competes with private listing websites like EBay and Auto Trader, aiming to make the process transparent. Sellers also have the option of using online car buyers like WeBuyAnyCar that offer quick, immediate sale or disposal options — but usually at fairly uncompetitive prices.

Dealers can sign up for the site’s specialist product Motorway Pro.  The tool prompts sellers to complete an online profile of the car. If it’s new or well-priced, they have the option of making it available to dealers for a 24-hour bidding period. The winning dealer is then connected to the seller to complete the deal using text messaging or WhatsApp.

Motorway claims that by comparing options, consumers can often sell cars for substantially more than if they go direct to one buyer.

The vertical has reported strong growth. Co-founder and CEO Tom Leathes told TechCrunch it now receives 100,000 sales inquiries a month. That’s four times more than a year ago.  Motorway has sold more than £130 million worth of vehicles. It’s been able to grow by encouraging online buyers like the Motor Depot to use the site. It’s also built business relationships with car buying websites like Motors.co.uk and Parkers.

 

 

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