SoftBank has invested €460 million into a German car startup

SoftBank has invested €460 million into a German car startup

Masayoshi Son SoftBank


SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son.

Japanese tech behemoth SoftBank has invested €460 million (£409 million) into used car marketplace Auto1, valuing the startup at €2.9 billion (£2.6 billion).


Founded in Berlin in 2012, Auto1 has sold hundreds of thousands of cars on its platform. Revenues in 2016 came in at €1.5 billion (£1.3 billion).

Backed by the likes of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, Auto1 connects car buyers with car sellers in around 30 countries.

The SoftBank investment, which was announced by Auto1 in a press release on Monday, comes via the SoftBank Vision Fund. The Vision Fund is the largest tech investment fund in the world, coming in at $93 billion (£68 billion). It counts Apple and the Saudi Arabia Sovereign Wealth Fund among its backers.

Auto1 group co-CEO Hakan Koç said in a statement: "We are delighted to welcome SoftBank Vision Fund, one of the largest tech funds in the world, as an investor in AUTO1 Group. We believe that the Fund's deep investment and technology expertise will help us to accelerate our growth as we continue to focus on making the used vehicle market more efficient and transparent."

Akshay Naheta, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisors, will join Auto1's board following the investment.

"Auto1 Group has built a fast growing, data-enabled platform introducing efficiency and transparency to the fragmented used car market, which is worth more than $300 billion annually," said Naheta in a statement. "The SoftBank Vision Fund's capital and our operational expertise with marketplace businesses will support continued global growth."