Startup Cazoo Goes Public in a $7 Billion SPAC Deal

By Mariliana Fotopoulou Monday, March 29, 2021

Cazoo, one of the biggest online car retailing businesses in the UK, announced a deal with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) AJAX I that will enable the car startup company to start trading publicly in the United States.

Two businesspeople shaking hands.

Another Major SPAC Deal

Cazoo is merging with a SPAC, which is founded by renowned US investor Dan Och. Other sponsors of the SPAC are Glenn Fuhrman and a team of investors that include founders of Chipotle, Instagram, Square, and 23andMe.

“We have created the most comprehensive and fully integrated offering in the largest retail sector which currently has very low digital penetration. This deal will provide us with almost $1 billion of further funds to fuel our growth and I am delighted to be partnering with Dan and his team at AJAX to rapidly expand and deliver the best car buying experience to consumers across Europe,” said Alex Chesterman, founder and CEO of Cazoo, in a joint statement.

The business deal values Cazoo, a fast-growing online car company based in London, at $7 billion. Once the business deal is complete, the combined company will also be named Cazoo and will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the new ticker symbol “CZOO.”

The online car startup will receive up to $805 million cash from AJAX I and an additional $800 million from SPAC sponsors, including D1 Capital Partners, Altimeter, BlackRock, Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), Fidelity Management and Research Company, Marcho Partners, Mubadala Capital, Pelham Capital, Senator Investment Group, and Spruce House Partnership.

“Alex has proven to be one of Europe’s most successful serial entrepreneurs and we are proud to be supporting the growth of this world-class team, brand and platform. With their constant focus on innovation, data and customer satisfaction, I have no doubt that Cazoo is going to continue to lead the way in this massive, untapped market opportunity and am looking forward to joining the Board of Cazoo and working with Alex and his team,” Dan Och, Founder of AJAX, added.

Cazoo, which employs over 1,800 people across the UK, Germany, France, and Portugal, has witnessed a rapid rise in popularity, with its business growing more than 300% on an annual basis. The car startup expects to exceed the $1 billion milestones in full-year revenues this year.

The company estimates that Europe's used car market represents a $700 billion opportunity. Its online-focused business model has made a success in delivering 20,000 cars to UK consumers. The startup, founded in 2018, is Europe’s leading car subscription company with over 6,000 paying customers in the UK, Germany, and France.

On the other hand, this business deal represents another mega SPAC deal. SPAC is a “blank cheque” company that offers a way for startups to list in a cheaper manner than the traditional initial public offering (IPO). It is estimated that funds raised via the SPAC model have totaled $87.9 billion so far in 2021 to top the $83.4 billion issuances in all of last year.

Startup Savant reported last week that WeWork agreed to go public last week in a $9 billion SPAC deal.

Summary

Cazoo, a UK startup behind a popular website for selling used cars across Europe, will start trading on the NYSE after the company merged with AJAX I in a $9 billion SPAC business deal.

About the Author


Headshot for author Mariliana Fotopoulou

Mariliana has an MSC in consumer analytics and business strategy. She has a special interest in fast-moving industries and big data.

Related Articles