The “subscribe to your car” movement has been taking off in recent years, with the appearance of Fleks in the U.K., Cazoo (after its acquisition of Drover) and Care by Volvo Hertz, to name just a few.
Into this space has appeared imove out of Norway, with what appears, at least, to be a new twist on the whole thing: a white-label platform offered to industry to enable it to offer these car subscription services under their own brands. Imove’s platform allows users to subscribe to electric vehicles from 18 different manufacturers and more than 50 different models.
The startup has now closed a €19 million / $22.3 million Series A round led by pan-European online car market AutoScout24. It was joined by the VCs Norselab and Idekapital, as well as the Norwegian state climate investment company Nysnø. Existing owner Hedin Automotive also joined. The round consists of a new equity issue of €13 million combined with a €6 million secondary sale of shares.
Founded in 2018, imove allows a company in automotive, finance, insurance or even electricity and telecoms to offer car subscriptions as an alternative to car ownership or leasing.
The team is led by co-founders Hans Kristian Aas (CEO) and Gunnar Birkenfeldt (CPO), who are jumping on a trend whereby (according to some estimates) some 20-30% of new car sales globally are predicted to be switched to car subscriptions by 2025.
Hans Kristian Aas, co-founder, and CEO said: “Amazing customer feedback, strong unit economics, and an industry ripe for change told us that the timing was right for pushing the ‘Scale button’.”
AutoScout24 is a large, pan-European online car market, and will act as a distribution channel for imove’s electric vehicle subscription service.
“With this investment, AutoScout24 clearly positions itself at the forefront of supporting new ownership models for consumers and customers, and makes a decisive step in supporting the EV introduction,” said chief strategy officer at AutoScout24, Borja Muller.
While imove is clearly moving fast in Europe, there are several players offering technology for car subscription and fleet management. These include Ridecell (U.S.-based), Clutch (U.S.-based, owned by Cox Automotive), Fleetonomy (Israel) and Vulog (France). So there’s plenty to play for in this race yet.