Cazoo names genetic testing firm founder Anne Wojcicki as its latest board member

Time 1 year ago

Cazoo has appointed Anne Wojcicki to its board as a non executive director ahead of its £5bn listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Wojcicki is the founder and CEO of direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe.

Prior to co-founding 23andMe in 2006, she spent a decade on Wall Street, says Cazoo, investing in healthcare and graduated from Yale University with a BS in Biology.

The appointment is the second in just over a week by the used car firm.

Duncan Tatton-Brown, formerly CFO of Ocado, has also joined the used car dealer.

Wojcicki was previously married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin and her sister Susan Wojcicki is chief executive of YouTube.

She said: ‘I am excited to be joining the Cazoo board and look forward to helping the company achieve its mission to transform the $700bn European used car market, which remains overwhelmingly offline.

‘Alex is one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and I am thrilled to work with his experienced team. Cazoo is already one of Europe’s great success stories and they are only just getting started.’

Cazoo’s online only USP has been steadily eroded in the last 12 months as the motor trade fast forwarded years of digital transformation during the pandemic.

Forced to sell online only during the UK lockdowns, dealers up and down the country improved their digital offerings and many actually sold more cars this way despite showrooms being closed.

Cazoo has also now got direct competitors from the likes of Carzam, led by ash experienced team of motor trade professionals, and Cinch, backed by BCA.

Cazoo recently announced it will list on the New York Stock Exchange through a $7bn (£5bn) business combination with Ajax I, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (or SPAC) founded by US investor Dan Och.

The listing in the States is likely to take place in the third quarter of this year.

Boss Chesterman recently told The Times that he thinks Cazoo could be worth as much as £20bn and is rumoured to be shortly launching a rival to We Buy Any Car.

Chesterman said: ‘I am delighted that Anne will be joining the Cazoo board once the business combination with Ajax completes.

‘Her insights and experience of building and scaling a digital consumer brand and reinventing the DNA testing space will be highly valuable as we continue to transform the car buying experience for consumers across the UK and Europe.’

Other board members include Stephen Morana (CFO), Dan Och (non-executive director), Viscount Rothermere (non-executive director) and David Hobbs (non-executive director).

The Times reports Cazoo founders are planning to take $600m off the table when the listing goes through and $1bn in fresh capital.

The paper estimates the used car business will have a valuation of $8bn, or closer to £6bn, when it floats.

Cazoo timeline

Click on the date to read the full story

Apr 2021 – Cazoo becomes headline sponsor of Derby Festival

Mar 2021 – Cazoo takes swipe at car dealers branding them ‘untrusted’ and ‘permanently impaired’ in investor pack

Mar 2021 – Cazoo confirms plans to list on the NYSE via a merger with Ajax, a special purpose acquisition company.

Feb 2021 – Cazoo acquires German subscription service Cluno and plots European expansion. As part of the deal it says it will be moving its HQ to Germany.

Feb 2021 – Reports suggest Cazoo founder Alex Chesterman cashed out £100m of shares in the last round of fundraising which was announced in October 2020. Firm refuses to comment.

Feb 2021 – Rumours surface that Cazoo is planning a stock market flotation in New York at a potential valuation of £5bn. The figures baffle industry experts.

Feb 2021 – Cazoo snaps up Smart Fleet Solutions, a vehicle reconditioning and storage specialist which operates from four sites and has 500 staff.

Dec 2020 – Cazoo buys car subscription service Drover for an undisclosed sum with a plan to offer subscriptions to the used cars on its platform.

Nov 2020 – Founder Alex Chesterman takes a swipe at car dealers saying the current sales model is ‘flawed at every level’ in an interview with The Times.

Oct 2020 – Cazoo posts £19m loss for first year of business according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Oct 2020 – Cazoo announces a further £240m in funding taking the total raised to £450m at a valuation of £2bn for the online retailer.

Sep 2020 – Cazoo accused of online-only U-turn as it begins turning former Imperial sites into ‘Customer Centres’ and plans many more around the country.

Jul 2020 – Car Dealer breaks the story Cazoo is about to buy Imperial Car Supermarkets. A day after our story breaks, the firm reveals the deal has been done.

Jun 2020 – Cazoo signs deal to become shirt sponsors of Everton in a deal rumoured to be worth nearly £10m. It soon follows it up with a similar deal with Aston Villa.

Mar 2020 – Cazoo announces another £100m in funding, taking the total raised to £180m. DMG Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Daily Mail, piles in as part of the fundraising.

Feb 2020 – Leaked Cazoo investor pack reveals used car dealer plans to sell 217,000 used cars a year by 2025. Predicts it will lose £70m in first three years.

Dec 2019 – Cazoo launches and announces a total of £80m in funding from venture capitalists General Catalyst and Mubadala Capital.

The post Cazoo names genetic testing firm founder Anne Wojcicki as its latest board member appeared first on Car Dealer Magazine.

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