Deal will bring in manufacturers

Maven and NVM back ‘pioneering’ car dealer

RockarMaven Capital Partners and NVM Private Equity have invested £5 million in a company that is pioneering online car buying.

The new finance will enable Rockar to partner with more car manufacturers following its initial success with Hyundai, and to launch more digital stores in shopping centres.

Rockar was established in 2012 by Simon Dixon who helped build the Dixon Motor Group. It aims to revolutionise the car buying experience by enabling the customer to shop and browse online.

In-store commissioned sales staff have been replaced by ‘Angels’, who are present to help.  

The latest fundraising follows a £1m investment from Seneca Partners EIS funds in November 2014 which saw Rockar launch its first two digital stores in the Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent and the Westfield Shopping Centre, East London.

The Rockar team is led by industry veteran Simon Dixon who helped build the Dixon Motor Group for 20 years, before selling it to Royal Bank of Scotland in 2002 for £110m.

Mr Dixon, chairman at Rockar, said: “This investment is the latest endorsement of the Rockar proposition. 

“From the outset we have aimed to revolutionise the car-buying experience…and now we have car manufacturers actively seeking to partner with Rockar to help them build their online retail presence, so it’s great to bring on board Maven and NVM alongside Seneca to help develop this offering.”

“Seneca has proven to be a critical partner for Rockar, backing us at the outset with the first round investment and now their corporate finance team have done a great job unlocking this additional funding.  We look forward to continuing the success with our new investors.”

Ryan Bevington, investment director at Glasgow-based Maven, added: “Maven is a proud backer of innovative British businesses and Rockar’s management team has achieved impressive results in a relatively short period of time.

“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.”

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.”

Rockar was advised on the fundraising by Andrew Stubbs, Chris Bullough and Gordon Lane of Seneca Partners Corporate Finance, with legal advice provided by Jonathan Gillow of Hill Dickinson.


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