A used-car dealer backed by the world’s biggest technology investment vehicle is in talks to raise hundreds of millions of Euros in additional funding.
Daily Week News has learnt that Auto1 Group, which is based in Germany, has hired Goldman Sachs to advise on its new funding round.
Sources said on Friday that Auto1 was likely to raise “a similar sum” to the €360m (£307m) that Auto 1 raised in 2017.
Masayoshi Son runs Japan’s SoftBank, which recently announced big losses linked to its troubled WeWork investment
The SoftBank Vision Fund – the $93bn investment pool which owns stakes in Arm Holdings, the British microchip designer, and the digital lender Oaknorth – ploughed €460m (£392m) into the car dealer in January last year.
It was unclear on Friday whether the latest funding round would value Auto1 at a premium to the €2.9bn (£2.5bn) price tag placed on the company when SoftBank initially invested in it.
Launched in 2012, Auto1 operates in 30 countries across Europe and sells hundreds of thousands of cars every year.
The new fundraising could see the SoftBank Vision Fund investing in order to maintain its existing stake in the company, although a spokesman for the vehicle declined to comment.
Tokyo-listed SoftBank – one of the principal investors in the Vision Fund – is canvassing investor support for a second fund.
The inaugural fund has backed some of the world’s biggest technology companies, including Uber Technologies and WeWork, both of which have fared disappointingly in financial terms in recent months.
It also owns stakes in GrabFood via an investment in Grab in southeast Asia, Grofers – an Indian online grocery delivery venture – and ParkJockey, which is targeting the development of “cloud kitchens” in the US.
Since being established in 2017, the Vision Fund – which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s state investment vehicle, Apple and Qualcomm – has taken stakes in dozens of start-ups.
Auto1 declined to comment.