London-based car subscription startup Drover secures €22.6 million to scale its ‘car-as-a-service’

Drover-founder

Drover, a European leader in car subscriptions, today announced €22.6 million funding round which has been co-led by Target Global, RTP Global and Autotech Ventures. Channel 4 Ventures and Rider Global, as well as existing investors Cherry Ventures, bp ventures, Partech, Version One and Forward Partners also participated in the round.

Many people argue that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way cars are consumed and sold. As appetite for flexible solutions grows, Drover aims to shape the future of car retailing by building a new type of ‘car-as-a-service’ platform that streamlines the traditionally fragmented and dealership-based process of buying, financing and insuring a car into a simple online transaction.

Founded in 2015, Drover has delivered record results in its consumer business during a period when traditional car sales had nearly halted completely. While in May only 13,000 new personal cars were registered in the UK, down 89% from last year, Drover more than doubled the number of new subscriptions sold compared to a year ago – finishing Q2 with a record high in revenue. Drover’s completely digital model has been particularly appealing as customers are looking for a more flexible, modern alternative to car ownership in a time of significant uncertainty and a deep economic downturn.

Drover will be using the fresh capital to scale its ‘car-as-a-service’ business across the UK, where it launched initially, and France, where it launched earlier this year. The startup will also continue to invest into its technology platform and into nationwide marketing campaigns to turn Drover into a leading car retail brand.

For one flat monthly payment, Drover customers can get a car with everything included, for a duration of one month to two years, without the need to take on debt. Instead of steep upfront payments, lengthy credit checks, and hours spent in dealerships, Drover has created a frictionless, fully digital transaction process: users simply create a profile, upload a photo of their driver’s licence, browse a selection of cars tailored to their location and budget, then personalise their subscription package based on their preferred term time, mileage and insurance options, and checkout with the same convenience people use when buying everything else online. Drover then delivers the car to their door in as little as 72 hours, customers pay monthly throughout their subscription, and Drover takes the car back at the end of the term.

Felix Leuschner, Drover’s founder and CEO, stated: “The car market is one of the last retail categories that has yet to shift online, with online penetration of car sales being still below 1%, while 20% of all UK retail sales are now online. Drover’s digital ‘car-as-a-service’ model is the right approach to truly build the ‘Amazon of Cars’ as it lends itself much better to an online model than does the long-term commitment, high ticket size type transaction of buying a car with cash or on finance. As a result, the last few years have seen Drover evolve and grow into a serious contender in the UK car retailing market.”

Ben Kaminski, Partner at Target Global, added: “By tapping into ongoing digitalisation and on-demand trends in tandem, Felix and his team are well poised to aggressively seize market share from traditional car retailers. This new capital injection is a testament to both the team and the tech behind Drover which is disrupting the car-ownership model for the better. We’re excited to offer our support as Drover continues to scale throughout Europe.”