CapCar is an online platform on which consumers can buy and sell their used cars. It was launched in 2015 by Louis-Gabriel de Causans, Guillaume-Henri Blanchet and Alexandre Hudavert, three entrepreneurs driven by a passion for cars and the desire to revamp an industry in need of a bit of disruption.
A dream well within their reach as the used vehicle market is growing. Every year in France around 5.7 million used cars are sold for just 2.11 million new ones.
In spite of sector growth and the arrival of new actors, the reputation of the used vehicle industry, sadly, still leaves a lot to be desired. Synonymous with shady second-hand car dealers, high prices and questionable practises, it continues to attract criticism with public authorities even deeming it, in recent times “unsatisfactory and risky for consumers”.
CapCar is aiming to change this. Positioning itself as a trusty intermediary “who takes care of everything“, the startup offers customers a fast, simplified and efficient buying and selling experience. Their “safety-first approach” means that before being featured on the platform, all cars are inspected and certified by their in-house mechanics who confirm that the cars are in mint condition, safe to drive and sold at a fair price.
Thanks to it’s accessible model, CapCar is proving to be a great success. The vehicles on offer, although second-hand, tend to be recent and so pollute less than older ones. The growth of the used-car market also means that less energy needs to be spent and materials used building new ones, thus appealing to today’s more environmentally aware consumer.
Why CapCar ?
The size of the market and, if you’ll forgive us the pun, the vision and “drive” of it’s founders meant that CapCar was an easy pick for Breega. And their track record so far has made for steady progress. After raising just over a million in 2017, and then 5 million at the end of 2019, the company has grown from 10 to 50 employees and multiplied its business figures sevenfold to become France’s number one used-car marketplace. In spite of a bumpy ride last year due to the ongoing global pandemic, and large losses for the automobile industry, the company still managed to achieve +40% growth. So with this in mind, we asked CapCar why they continue to choose Breega as their main investor?
While doing the funding rounds, Louis-Gabriel, the determined CEO of CapCar admits to being a little sceptical where potential investors were concerned:
“There are a lot of preconceived notions in the tech world where the automobile industry is concerned. Many of the young VC analysts we met, most of whom didn’t have a driving licence or had never owned a car, were quick to dismiss it as a dying industry. However, people living outside of the major cities will tell you that driving is a necessary part of their everyday lives. 90% of French people are reliant on their cars”.
According to Louis-Gabriel, the first meetings with potential investors Breega was, and continues to be, a meeting of minds :
“Breega had a more thoughtful approach. Maximilien asked all the right questions and understood quickly what we were trying to do and why we were trying to do it. He shared our passion for cars and had a clear understanding of their importance for the population”.
Breega’s operations team was also a winning argument for the three entrepreneurs:
“There aren’t many funds that offered the same level of support as Breega. Thanks to their HR, Biz Dev and Coms teams Breega has helped us grow and structure our teams, create partnerships with major insurance companies and helped us with our PR and rebranding”.
And how has Team Breega helped CapCar on its journey?
“With Max we have a great and healthy relationship, very frank, no filter. We say when we agree and when we don’t. We listen to each other. We have a call every 3 weeks or so. He is really present and active”.
On the road
So where is CapCar headed next? Louis-Gabriel tells us that 2021 will be all about consolidation, readjusting their offer, investing in and improving their platform and customer experience and strengthening their team before looking, at year’s end, into expanding into Europe:
“The CapCar adventure continues and it’s an exciting one. We want to succeed in building a strong and qualitative brand and a great company that’s good to work with and in”.
Well, you’ve sold it to us, team CapCar. We’re delighted to be along for the ride. Here’s to smooth sailing in 2021!