UK car subscription company Drover rides off with funding


UK-based car subscription company Drover has secured 5.5 million pounds in funding. Cherry Ventures, Partech and BP Ventures led the round.

PRESS RELEASE

London – 15th March 2017: Drover, a marketplace company pioneering monthly, all-in car subscriptions in the UK, is happy to announce that it has just raised a £5.5 million funding round that was co-led by venture capital firms Cherry Ventures, Partech and BP Ventures, with continued participation from existing investors. Version One and Forward Partners previously invested £2 million in Drover’s pre-seed round, bringing the funding of the company to £7.5 million in total. The capital will be used to scale the business further and invest in its engineering and product team.

As part of the round, Christian Meermann, founding partner of Cherry Ventures, and Romain Lavault, General Partner at Partech Ventures, are joining Drover’s board of directors, alongside Boris Wertz of Version One and Drover’s founders Felix Leuschner (CEO) and Matt Varughese (CTO).

Christian Meermann, founding partner at Cherry Ventures said: “We are excited to back Drover because they are building the infrastructure and the customer experience that will change how all parties think about mobility. At Cherry, we believe that car-ownership will undergo massive changes as consumers prioritise flexibility, affordability and convenience. We are confident that the team at Drover will rapidly grow car subscription in the UK and beyond by building tech-enabled operational excellence for their supply partners while creating tremendous value for their customers.”

Drover is shaping the future of mobility by building a new type of mobility-as-a-service platform that streamlines the traditionally fragmented, and complex process of getting and maintaining a car: Drover gives users access to cars of their choice for one all-inclusive monthly subscription price, as an alternative to the rigidity of getting a car through existing car finance, or lease options. With a monthly subscription fee, Drover’s user proposition rolls the entire cost of car ownership into one price, including the cost of the car, insurance, maintenance, servicing, taxes and breakdown cover, and makes it available as an online offer on joindrover.com. Users can swap, upgrade or downgrade their car monthly or just cancel altogether, with no additional costs.

Felix Leuschner, Co-Founder and CEO commented: “Almost all innovation in the mobility space has so far focused on how to get from A to B. At Drover however, we’re rethinking car ownership itself, a space where very little innovation has happened to date. We are building an integrated end-to-end platform that looks to the future, and prioritises meeting the demands of the modern-day customer.

Simply put, Drover is designed to free consumers from the long-term commitment of a loan or lease, while providing the benefits of car ownership that are missing from existing ride- and car-sharing options.”

Moving away steep upfront payments, lengthy credit checks, and hours spent in dealership waiting rooms, Drover has designed a frictionless, fully digital transaction process. Users simply create a profile, upload a photograph of their drivers licence, browse a selection of vehicles tailored to their location and budget, personalise their subscription package based on their preferred mileage, and pick up or have their car delivered to them, as early as the next day.

Structuring its business as a marketplace means Drover does not own any cars, but works with over 100 fleet partners to ensure a large and comprehensive selection of new and used vehicles on its platform. Drover’s fleet partners include large rental companies such as Europcar, Avis Budget Group and Hertz, car dealership groups, and OEMs, such as BMW Group UK. Powered by sophisticated technology: an integrated insurance product developed in partnership with Munich Re Digital Partners and a proprietary SAAS fleet management system, Drover partners are able to list vehicle inventory with minimal overhead costs, and monetise it effectively, whilst consistently increasing vehicle utilisation.

As macro trends of the sharing economy, asset-light lifestyles and on-demand continue to progress consumer behaviours, it is Drover’s mission to provide its users with a flexible, convenient and easy way to get the car of their choice and with that, create an entirely new category in the automotive sector, one of the largest industries in the world.

About Cherry Ventures
Cherry Ventures is a Berlin-based venture capital fund, founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. The fund is managed by Filip Dames, Daniel P. Glasner and Christian Meermann and provides early-stage investment for the best ideas and teams across Europe. Cherry Ventures offers portfolio companies a platform for operational excellence, strategic know-how and fundraising support as well as a network of the most successful entrepreneurs in Europe. Cherry Ventures has invested in more than 45 companies since its launch. Auto1 Group, Flixbus, Lesara, Quandoo, Infarm and Tourradar are part of the Cherry Ventures Portfolio, among others. For more information please visit: www.cherry.vc/

About Partech
Founded in 1982 in Silicon Valley, Partech Ventures is a global investment firm with a team spread across offices in San Francisco, Paris, Berlin and Dakar. Most Partners have been entrepreneurs themselves or have held management positions within tech companies. The partnership acts and invests as a single team, helping entrepreneurs build fast-growing tech and digital companies addressing large markets across multiple continents. Partech Ventures partners with entrepreneurs at the seed, venture and growth stages. Companies backed by Partech Ventures have completed 21 initial public offerings and more than 50 major M&A transactions with leading international companies. Since 2012, the team has built a pioneering business development platform fostering synergies and business relationships between entrepreneurs and strategic partners. For more information please visit: www.partechventures.com

About BP Ventures
BP Ventures identifies and invests in private, high growth, game-changing technology companies, accelerating cutting edge innovations across the entire energy spectrum. Since 2006, BP Ventures has invested over $400 million in corporate venturing and has 42 active investments in its current portfolio.

BP Ventures’ portfolio is primarily focused on emerging technologies in oil and gas exploration and production and downstream conversion processes. In addition, it has a renewed strategic focus on five key areas: bio & low carbon products, carbon management, power & storage, advanced mobility and digital transformation. For more information please visit: www.bp.com/ventures

About Drover
Drover offers flexible, monthly all-in car subscriptions to its customers, allowing its users to swap, upgrade or downgrade their car monthly or just cancel altogether, without any long-term commitment or steep upfront payments. Drover provides this service through a marketplace model, providing its over 100 fleet partners with an easy to use listings and fleet management interface, allowing them to monetise available vehicles effectively on Drover’s platform. Drover was founded by serial marketplace entrepreneurs Felix Leuschner (CEO) and Matt Varughese (CTO) and launched in January 2016, has handled tens of thousands of vehicle bookings since and has been serially backed by Version One, Forward Partners, Cherry Ventures, Partech and BP Ventures.

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