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EXCLUSIVE: SoftBank-backed user car dealer Auto1 could IPO next month at a valuation north of $8 billion

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 14 Jan 2021

<p><img src="https://static2.businessinsider.com/image/600028e3fe7e140019f7ede2-2400/AUTO1Group_ChristianBertermann_HakanKoc_big.jpg" alt="Auto1 Christian Bertermann and Hakan Koc" data-mce-source="Auto1" data-mce-caption="Auto1 cofounders Christian Bertermann and Hakan Koc" border="0"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Auto1 Group, a European platform for used car sales, could IPO in Frankfurt as early as next month at a higher-than-expected valuation, Insider understands from a well-placed source.&nbsp;</p><p>The company has hired Goldman Sachs, Citi and BNP Paribas as global coordinators of its initial public offering, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/auto1-ipo-idUSL8N2GQ5D2">per Reuters</a>.</p><p>During the third quarter of 2020, the eight-year-old's startup's valuation was mooted at around 5 billion ($6.1 billion).</p><p>Insider now understands the valuation is likely to land north of $8 billion. The higher price target is thought to reflect the company's improved financials and the strong performance of its US competition.&nbsp;</p><p>Auto1 declined to comment.&nbsp;</p><p>The company announced publicly on Wednesday that it planned to float on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the first quarter of 2021, aiming to raise 1 billion ($1.2 billion). It did not comment on valuation.</p><p>Founded in 2012 by Christian Bertermann and partner Hakan Koc, Auto1 has so far brought in $1.4 billion in funding from investors including the SoftBank Vision Fund and is the top platform for buying and selling in Europe's approximately 600 billion ($730.5 billion) used car market.</p><p>The company's third quarter revenues <a href="https://aimgroup.com/2020/12/10/auto1-q3-2020-startup-reaches-profitability/">were up 90% year-on-year</a>, and the firm reported an 82% increase in the number of cars sold. The company also reported adjusted EBITDA of 16 million ($19.5 million), while gross profit margin grew from 9.5% to 11.3%.&nbsp;</p><p>Vroom, a US rival also founded in 2012, floated on the Nasdaq in June 2020 and initially surged from $22 IPO price to more than double that. The share price has since pared to $38.89 (as of the close of trading on Wednesday) giving the company a market cap of around $5 billion.</p><p>Carvana, another publicly listed user car company in the US, reported a revenue rise of 38% year on year in the third quarter of 2020 to $1.3 million. It trimmed its net loss to $7 million for the quarter, from $30 million over the same period in 2019. The company has seen its share price skyrocket from $113 on the day Vroom went public to $289a 155% increase. Carvana now has a market cap of almost $50 billion.&nbsp;</p><p>The jewel in Auto1's crown, and the reason investor excitement has risen, is its direct-to-consumer business Autohero. Autohero is the company's online used car sales service, similar to <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/alex-chesterman-cazoo-zoopla-coronavirus-profile-2020-11">UK service Cazoo</a> and Carvana's offering, which has seen tremendous growth in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>SEE ALSO:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/europes-tech-unicorns-look-to-repeat-us-ipo-successes-in-2021-2020-12" >Europe's tech unicorns are eyeing the booming IPO market for 2021 and hoping to bring in billions. 'I've never seen anything like this in my whole VC career.'</a></strong></p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/auto1-used-car-ipo-february-softbank-valuation-2021-1#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/what-its-like-travel-during-coronavirus-outbreak-planes-airports-virus-2020-3">Here's what it's like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak</a></p>
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