Startup Profile: Carwow

  • Carwow is a UK based platform for buying new and used cars from franchised dealers, who use the ‘reverse marketplace model’ to remove the need for buyers to negotiate with car sellers.
  • The company has partnered with the RAC as part of RAC Cars’ ‘search, buy, sell’ website.
  • Since its foundation, £5B+ worth of cars have been bought via Carwow.


James Hind, CEO and Founder of Carwow


About Carwow


Carwow was founded by CEO James Hind and Creative Director Alexandra Margolis and originally launched in 2010. The objective behind the foundation of Carwow was to fill the gap in the market for a car review aggregator, to make it easier for the customer to choose a new car. In order to make this possible, the Carwow team writes impartial reviews, guides and makes video reviews to help the consumer choose the right car for them. Users choose the car they would like to buy, along with the various specifications and features, then receive offers direct from dealers.

Although the company was originally founded in 2010, it originally launched as a car research site, Carbuzz. It wasn’t until; May 2013 when the company would relaunch as a car buying platform. CEO James Hind argues that there is “no direct competitors to Carwow”, as they offer a uniquely “transparent service where car buyers are in control”.


How does it work?


Once the customer has looked through the varying styles of impartial review provided by car experts, Carwow sends the customer a list of offers from local and national car dealerships, with Carwow promising that the dealers provide the customer with the best price up front, with no hidden fees. Carwow claim to save their buyers “an average of £3,600 off RRP.” The “manufacturer-approved” dealers then contact the buyers directly to finalise the details and the customer can specify whether they’d prefer to come into the dealership or arrange a home-delivery. All new cars sold through Carwow come with full manufacturer warranties and aftersales support.


In 2019, Carwow raised £25 million in Funding


After its relaunch in May 2013, Carwow managed to raise £1.3m venture capital finance from Balderton Capital, Episode 1 Ventures and Samos Investments, as well as a number of angel investors in February 2014 to fund growth. Its investors provided a further £4.6m of capital in so the company could “expand the team further, roll out above-the-line advertising campaigns and start exploring new markets”. In January 2016, Carwow raised a further £12.5m in a Series B funding round led by Accel Partners, and in 2019, Carwow announced a £25m funding round to unlock further growth potential for the business.


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