The investment, which is split equally between Maven and NVM, will enable Rockar to partner with more major automotive manufacturers following success with Hyundai, launch more digital stores and continue to develop its innovative technology platform.
Rockar was established in 2012 with the aim of revolutionising the car buying experience. The result is a disruptive new retail proposition where customers have access to all the services of a traditional dealership online, or at one of Rockar’s digital stores.
This design lets the customer browse vehicles as they wish and is supported by pioneering in-store digital content which provides information about the cars. In-store commissioned sales staff have been replaced by ‘Angels’, who are there to help. Allowing customers to browse without pressure to buy.
The car market is one of the few not to have fully embraced online retailing to date. While consumers will typically undertake significant research online as part of the buying process, there is still the requirement to visit the physical showroom to negotiate a deal and complete the purchase. Rockar’s ‘Buy Button’ technology enables the consumer to complete the entire purchase online including options for part-exchange and finance.
The latest fundraising follows a £1m investment from Seneca Partners EIS funds in November 2014 which saw Rockar launch its first two digital stores.
Ryan Bevington, investment director at Maven, said: “The car industry is one of the few remaining retail sectors that has not yet embraced e-commerce or adapted to changing consumer trends. As a disruptor, Rockar is successfully challenging the traditional route to market and creating a compelling solution for modern consumer habits.”
Liam May, lead investment manager at NVM said: "In its short history Rockar has already demonstrated remarkable growth, and is leading the way in innovation in the automotive retail sector. NVM has an outstanding track record of backing successful software technology businesses and we believe Simon and his team have developed a unique, disruptive solution which is well placed to take advantage of changing automotive retail strategies.”
Simon Dixon, chairman at Rockar, said: “Following on from the success we have achieved to date, which has seen over half a million people visit our ground-breaking stores and experience our unique online retail platform, this investment is the latest endorsement of the Rockar proposition.”
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