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OLX to invest R6bn in German online car marketplace

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OLX Group, the online classifieds business of Prosus, has announced its intention to invest up to $400 million (R6 billion) in Berlin-based online car marketplace Frontier Car Group (FCG), becoming the company’s largest shareholder.

In a statement, OLX says FCG’s instant cash services, combined with OLX’s proprietary classifieds technology and reach, have transformed the online car marketplace, making buying and selling used cars more convenient and efficient for individual car sellers, buyers and dealers.

It notes that through FCG, car dealers have access to a wider range of inventory, proprietary inspection reports, floor-plan financing, pricing guides and other innovative services; while sellers are offered a suite of new services such as “guaranteed buy”, inspection, financing and a large number of ancillary offerings, such as warranties and insurance.

OLX believes that fully integrating the two companies will allow for faster expansion while improving and increasing the services available to buyers and sellers, setting a new industry benchmark for the used car trade.

According to the online classifieds company, dealers will benefit from improved intelligence via a dealership management system, an enhanced re-sale capability via OLX, and provenance and pricing data via CarFax and Blue Book-style products.

Sellers will also gain a new range of ways to sell their used cars in a trusted and transparent manner, it notes.

OLX first invested $89 million in FCG in 2018, providing capital for the Berlin-based start-up to enhance its services and expand to new geographies, including the acquisition of WeBuyAnyCar in the US.

Both companies currently work together in Latin America, Asia, and Poland, where, collectively, nearly 30 million used cars are sold annually – more than double that of China.

Martin Scheepbouwer, CEO of OLX Group, says: “Together with FCG, we are aiming to build the leading global used car marketplace, offering a premium and convenient service to millions of car buyers, sellers and dealers. We're in a unique position to accelerate the expansion of this platform worldwide.

“Our experience in India is a great proof of concept, where within the space of a year, our joint venture has already increased the number of stores threefold, with car purchase volumes continuing to grow by 10% month-on-month.”

Sujay Tyle, the 26-year-old co-founder and CEO of FCG, says: “FCG has nearly tripled performance across every key metric since the first OLX Group investment less than 18 months ago and has expanded to four new countries in that time.

“This is a testament to FCG’s team, the ripe market opportunity, and the results of early integration with OLX in our key markets. Together with OLX and Prosus, we are aiming to revolutionize the used car market in several emerging and developed economies by adding trust, transparency and a comprehensive suite of services to all participants in the ecosystem”.

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