Cazoo: Purchasing Quality Vehicles without Leaving Your Sofa
Hit the brakes on traditional, dull and pricey vehicle purchasing - a new player is in town, and it has Alex Edward’s name written all over it!
It might have taken Alex Edwards a handful of business launches and years of hard work and constantly pursuing his next great dream to make it, but bringing Cazoo to the vehicle industry market was one of his greatest inventions yet. No sufficient budget to buy or rent a car? No time to hit the shops? No problem!
With the creation of Cazoo, Alex Edward not only facilitated the saga of purchasing a vehicle but also made it perk-rich and affordable for all of his customers. With a heavens-given talent for inventing the uninvented and the recognizable Londoner’s charisma, Alex is a breath of fresh air among a range of repetitive, dull, and money-hungry creators.
Taking the UK and global market by a storm, Alex is a hero in disguise, and a man cultivating a grand society-improvement mission.
Want to know their story?
While Alex Edwards might seem like your everyday Londoner, he’s anything but. Alex was born in 1970, in a modest British family. His father ran a local restaurant business, while his mother was a stay-at-home housewife with a smart son to raise.
Growing up in London was an adventure in itself for Alex, and it was here he finished high-school following which he went to college at London University, ultimately acquiring a BS degree in Economics. When everything was said and done, Alex turned to job finding and first got employed as a bank clerk, thus following in many of his colleagues’ footsteps.
However, in the summer of 1990, right after graduating, Alex accidentally ran into one of his father’s friends at the beach. A small-talk later, the man found himself convincing Alex that, without a plan in sight, he would likely end up working at the bank for the rest of his career. Encouraging him to be somewhat of an adventurer, the man birthed the desire in Alex to shift his career gear, think outside the box and put his economic skills and practice in a more fruitful venture.
Not just that, but the man also offered Alex the opportunity to fly to the United States for three months, where he would work on the management training program for Hard Rock Cafe. Although it was not easy to leave a job well-earned, Alex eagerly accepted the offer to visit the USA and work within a more prosperous environment.
Ideas of a Businessman
Alex’s parents thought him almost insane for wanting to leave his promising job at the bank and found it confusing that he wanted to leave the UK, move to the USA, and contribute to managing a chain of restaurants.
Subconsciously, Alex thought that too, but he also knew this would be the make it or break it opportunity. Plus, being properly introduced to the business would help him a lot in expanding his knowledge and learning the proper ways of economics.
Instead of making false promises, Alex told his parents he would leave in September and come back by January to work at the bank again, should his post still be available. Alex understood the risks of leaving his current job for the unknown, and yet, he showed no signs of second-guessing his decision, and just went for it with all he had. As it turned out in the long run, this would be the best call Alex could have made in terms of his career and future success.
Alex fulfilled his mission and much to his own surprise and despite his parents’ desires, instead of spending three months in the USA, he stuck around in the country for the next decade.
The creative genius dedicated himself to improving his business skills, all the while travelling around the world and opening restaurants, sharing experiences and building new ideas for outstanding projects to come. Many finished projects later, Alex met the love of his life and got the urge to return to his homeland and start a London-based business.
The first thing that popped to Alex’s mind after landing in Britain was that he dearly missed the creamy bagels he got to eat every morning in the States. To satisfy his appetites and meet his business potential, Alex decided to open a bagel store, which in mere years turned to a nine-store London food chain.
Inspired by the dramatic change of the world and noticing the existing market gaps, Alex managed his business while actively looking for opportunities outside the food industry.
The Road to Cazoo
Throughout the years, Alex was not sector-specific and had switched between various businesses and industries to discover his true calling.
He did not consider himself an expert in any specific field, instead, he thought of himself as an imitator, because he looked at ideas from another’s perspective, and then turned them into something useful.
In 2002, Alex wanted to solve the limited video selection in stores, so he launched a business called Screen Select, which then was rebranded as LoveFilm. Observing the strings similar moguls pulled, like Netflix, he adopted them all and moved them to his London venture. Alex later sold the business to Amazon for £200 million.
A while later, in 2007, after witnessing the growth of Zillow in the US, Alex launched yet another platform, called Zoopla, which served as a real estate company, now owned by Silver Lake Partners. Running these crucial companies for years, Alex gained massive experience, additional knowledge, greater profits, a realistic perspective of entrepreneurship, and the chance to build a name for himself in the UK and wider.
Driven by the very same reasons as before, Alex decided to, this time around, make a difference within the vehicle industry, changing it at its core - from the way people purchased cars to the way they used them and had access to them, all the while saving time and resources.
Cazoo: A Force To Be Reckoned With
Founded in 2018 and officially launched online in 2019, this team spirit, customer-obsessed, data-driven, and fast-growing entrepreneurial passion platform is a car purchase dream come to life.
Cazoo is Alex’s latest brainchild and has forever changed the sturdily imposed habits of purchasing cars. In less than 18 months since its launch, the company has managed to raise over £180m in funding, a record figure for a UK start-up in its initial year of existence.
Alex explains that he utterly understands the love people have for vehicles, but also the obstacle in being able to purchase one - both at an affordable price and in excellent condition. The company is an online-exclusive platform and remarks one of the most well-managed ones. The moment you first pick a vehicle, to rent or purchase, the company does most of the job for you and brings your chosen vehicle to your doorstep within no more than 72h. It doesn’t matter where you live, how far, or however impossible, your Cazoo vehicle will be there, waiting.
The company also provides its customers with a test drive grace period, and unlike the 7 minutes in heaven policies other brands impose, but a full-on week to test out your car, see if you click, and eventually purchase it if all is well. Should you be unhappy with your choice, the company will toe its car back and offer you a full refund. How impressive is that?
Company Profile, Today
Headquartered in London, Cazoo counts 9 team members, including Alex, and over 250 employees working hard to meet every customer’s vehicle needs.
During the years, Alex’s idea was recognized by many leading investors and was funded by 19 investors, 8 of which lead the pack. Cazoo’s most recent investors include Sapphire Ventures and Durable Capital Partners. The platform has raised over £557 million in seven rounds of funding. The most recent funding Cazoo enjoyed came from a 2020 Series D round.
It’s no wonder Cazoo’s inventor won several major awards. He was named UK’s leading digital entrepreneur, ‘Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ back in 2013, while in 2017, he held a spot on ‘Debrett’s 500’. In 2020, his net worth was estimated at £360 million by The Telegraph Tech Hot 100.
Cazoo’s future shines brightly, and while what lies ahead for the company is still a mystery, you can count on it thriving for as long as Alex runs the show!