Motorway, the U.K. used car marketplace, has raised £11 million in Series A funding. Leading the round is Marchmont Ventures, the fund managed by Hugo Burge and Alan Martin (the former CEO and CFO of Momondo Group, respectively), along with participation from existing backer LocalGlobe.
Founded by the team behind Top10 — the mobile and broadband comparison site that exited to uSwitch in 2011 — Motorway has set out to make it easier to sell your used car online. The website lets car sellers instantly see live offers from multiple car buying services and specialist dealerships. You can compare headline offers, buyer reviews, and fees and collection options to find the best deal.
It competes with a number of other used car selling options including having to visit multiple car dealers to negotiate a sale, or list privately on websites like AutoTrader or eBay. The other option is to use one of a number of online car buyers, such as WeBuyAnyCar, that provide a quick disposal option but where prices paid are typically low. Motorway says that by comparing offers, consumers can get up to £1,000 more than going direct to one buyer.
The London and Brighton-based company has also launched a dedicated product for dealers, dubbed “Motorway Pro”. Sellers complete a detailed online profile of their car and if it is relatively new or higher priced they have the option to make it accessible to dealers on the Motorway Pro platform. Dealers then have 24 hours to bid for the vehicle, after which the winning dealer is connected to the seller to complete the transaction.
The Pro platform is built on mobile messaging: dealers get alerted about vehicles that fit their requirements via text message or WhatsApp. “The process removes middlemen from the sale process, making it much more efficient, resulting in a better deal for both the car seller and the dealer,” says Motorway.
Meanwhile, Motorway co-founder and CEO Tom Leathes tells me the startup is now driving over 100,000 sales enquiries per month — a sales enquiry every 30 seconds, apparently. A year ago that sat at 25,000 per month, representing 4x growth. “We’ve closed over £130 million in completed car sales,” he adds.
To help achieve this, Motorway on-boarded online buyers to the site, including Arnold Clark and Motor Depot. The startup also has partnerships with major car buying websites such as motors.co.uk and Parkers. Last month, Motorway’s first TV ad launched too.