Autoscout24 expands portfolio by acquiring majority stake in business-to-business car platform
30 March 2022
German car marketplace AutoScout24 has signed an agreement to buy a majority stake in Autoproff, one of Europe’s fastest-growing business-to-business platforms for used vehicles. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of the year, with Autoproff’s management retaining an interest in the company while also continuing to run the business.
Financial details were not disclosed.
AutoScout24 said the acquisition would allow its vast number of car dealers – around 43,000 in Europe – to buy and sell vehicles in the region. The acquisition adds to AutoScout24’s offering, with dealers able to trade vehicles online, both via retail and wholesale services. Dealerships will also gain access to new inventory sources through Autoproff.
‘Autoproff is an excellent addition to the AutoScout24 offering,’ said Edgar Berger, CEO of the AutoScout24 Group. ‘Autoproff was founded by car dealers for car dealers and delivers first-class solutions for trade-in and business-to-business transactions. With this acquisition, the AutoScout24 Group offers the complete product range for the digital retail and wholesale of vehicles in Europe.’
Autoproff is known as a digital vehicle business-to-business platform that enables dealers to trade vehicles through online car auctions. Founded in 2013, it auctioned over 120,000 vehicles in 2021 alone. In Denmark, it is the leading online platform of its kind, with the merger with AutoScout24 allowing the company to expand across Europe.
The startup currently has offices in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden, with more than 20,000 car traders using its services. Autoproff offers more than 1,500 cars on its auctions every day and has built activities in 10 European markets.
Autoproff’s online auction offers integrated on-demand trading services, including on-site vehicle appraisal, wholesale price advice, guaranteed minimum prices, secure trading on an escrow basis and vehicle transport. Additionally, the company offers consumer-to-business web solutions for car dealers, as well as special enterprise solutions for leasing, rental, and insurance companies.
‘As a long-time car dealer, I founded Autoproff with the aim of helping dealers increase their sales and profits in the used-car trade,’ said Jesper Ratza, CEO and founder of Autoprof. ‘Our partnership with AutoScout24 will help us to quickly expand our business-to-business solution to expand across Europe and to create Europe’s first fully-integrated solution in C2B-B2B-B2C used-car sales. I am proud and excited to see what this partnership will contribute to the future growth and profitability of the European car trade.’
The deal signals a new direction for AutoScout24. German classifieds group Scout24 agreed to sell AutoScout24 to private equity investor Hellman & Friedman for €2.9 billion in 2019. Since then, AutoScout24 has made careful investments. In 2020, it acquired a majority stake in LeasingMarkt.de, eager to expand its product portfolio. The company claims to be Europe’s largest online car marketplace, with core markets including Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Italy, France, and Austria.
Its vehicle offer includes used and new cars, motorcycles, caravans, and commercial vehicles. Online retail experiences have reshaped vehicle sales in Europe for a while, with dealers increasingly moving online to expand business opportunities.