People’s Champion Finalist: carwow
Familiarise yourself with the early-stage car comparison site battling it out for Startups Awards People’s Champion – will it get your vote?
Start-up name: carwow
Founder: James Hind, 27
Started in: 2013 (beta launch) Official launch in 2014
Based in: London
Business description: Car comparison site
With a passion for cars and all things automotive, 27 year-old entrepreneur James Hind originally launched carwow as a content site to help people choose which new car to buy. However it wasn’t long before he came to the realisation that actually buying a new car was a “bigger problem”. After a few months the site was rebuilt as a comparison site to give you the best way to buy a new car, the first car was sold through the platform, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Less than a year after its beta launch, the comparison site raised £1.3m in a seed round led by Balderton Capital alongside industry players including Zoopla’s Alex Chesterman, Simon Murdoch and Doug Munro – understandable when you look at its recent growth. Just this month, the start-up announced it had surpassed £100m worth of sales for car dealerships across the UK, a milestone which Hind is keen to build upon:
“Watching the business grow from a small site with just a handful of us behind it to the company it is today has been really exciting. […] At the end of the day, our main goal was to make new car buying easier and hassle-free and I’m pretty confident that we’ve achieved that. I can’t wait to see what the next year or so brings.”
With no direct competitors; the start-up claims to be the only company in Europe doing anything like it and, with a team of 17 employees and growing, carwow appears to have chanced upon a booming market opportunity which shows no signs of abating.
Why carwow made our 50:
Although still in its infancy, carwow has already made a major impact in a previously untapped market. Backed by super angels and a leading venture firm, young entrepreneur Hind seems to have a winning start-up strategy.