Auto1 Group operates online car trading platforms that enable individuals and dealers to buy and sell cars throughout Europe, including wirkaufendeinauto.de and autohero.com for consumers and its B2B arm auto1.com. Auto1 guarantees that it will buy every used car regardless of make, model or condition and it also takes the hassle out of selling by handling the red tape for customers, for example canceling car registrations.
Earlier this year SoftBank Investment Advisers, a division of Japanese technology giant SoftBank Group Corp., invested €460m in Auto1 through its SoftBank Vision Fund in return for a 20 percent share. The investment increased the group’s value to €2.9bn, making it the most highly-prized startup in Europe after Spotify, and will support its international expansion plans.
Established in 2012 by joint CEOs Christian Bertermann and Hakan Koç with a team of seven employees, Auto1 now boasts a workforce of more than 3,000 and operates in over 30 countries through 45,000 dealer partners.
Auto1 is experiencing strong organic growth, both in sales and the expansion of its on-site branch presence, according to Bertermann. Annual revenue last year rose 47 percent to €2.2bn, while the number of car sales reached 420,000, up from just 224 in its first year. Its success reflects the current boom in Germany’s used car market – last year twice as many used cars were sold than new cars.