Hellocar, a new car buying website out of the UK, has secured a £1m investment round. The round was led by JamJar Investments, the Innocent Drinks founders’ venture capital fund, and Alex Chesterman, founder and CEO of Zoopla Property Group. Henry Lane Fox, part of the founding team behind lastminute.com and CEO of Founders Factory, will join the Hellocar board as a Director. The money raised will be used to launch Hellocar in Manchester and grow the existing team.
Founded by car industry entrepreneur Nic Carnell, Hellocar removes the dealer from the car buying process. Industry research show only 7% of UK consumers trust car dealers and 80% find buying a car stressful.
Hellocar aims to disrupt the £45bn UK used car market by bringing what it says is more transparency and convenience to the car buying experience. All Hellocar vehicles have passed a comprehensive 168-point inspection by the AA, are home delivered and if the customer changes their mind in the first seven days Hellocar will give them their money back.
In that sense it’s not unlike Carspring (from Rocket Internet) and buyacar.co.uk, but, says Carnell, “I feel Carspring are approaching the problem in a very functional/un-emotive way, whereas we’re building Hellocar around the customer, focusing on the end to end customer experience from the minute they land on the website to the call they receive 30 days after delivery of their car.” He added: “We’re focusing the quality of the cars and less about throwing as many on the site as possible.”
The startup has a partnerships with the UK’s Automobile Association to provide inspections & warranty, and Aviva to provide insurance.
Carnell says they also have conversations in progress with fleet and leasing companies around potential for them to list their cars on the website. This Hellocar access to a range of quality stock and gives them a direct channel to the consumer, where they would previously have sold that stock into the trade (via auction).