21st July 2016

The digital car retailer Rockar has received a £5m investment from NVM Private Equity and Maven Capital Partners.

Dow Schofield Watts Transaction Services’ team advised on the deal, which will enable Rockar to partner with more car manufacturers following its initial success with Hyundai, launch more digital stores in shopping centres and continue to develop its technology platform.

Established in 2012, Rockar has re-invented the car buying experience. Its new retail proposition gives customers access to all the services of a traditional dealership online, or at one of Rockar’s digital stores, which provide a convenient place for customers to view cars at their leisure without the pressure to buy.

Rockar, which is based in York, has also developed an online solution which helps car manufacturers digitalise their traditional route to market. The company was founded by Simon Dixon who helped build the Dixon Motor Group PLC for 20 years, before selling it to RBS in 2002 for £110 million.

The latest fundraising follows a £1 million 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.

Jeff Gardner and Rob McCarthy of Dow Schofield Watts provided financial due diligence to NVM and Maven.

Rob McCarthy said: “The car market is one of the few not to have fully embraced online retailing to date for the full purchase process of a new car. While consumers do research online, they still need to visit a showroom to negotiate and buy a vehicle. Rockar’s ‘Buy Button’ technology enables them to complete the entire purchase online. This new round of investment will allow for the continued development of the business.”

Jeff Gardner said: “Elements of the business required us to conduct financial due diligence on a new product in an existing market. This required us to work closely with the commercial due diligence team on the deal which we did successfully in order to present a truly integrated set of conclusions to our clients.”