Dear DN Friends and Investors,
you might have seen the big news already here, here or here: DN Capital’s portfolio company Auto1 listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange which represented the largest public market debut for a tech company in Germany to date. The company’s shares which were priced at €38 at the initial public offering, opened 45% higher and eventually closed at €53. With a valuation of over €11 billion Auto1 became officially a decacorn.
DN Capital is proud to have led the Series A in 2013 and since then to have been able to work closely with the company on this exciting journey.
When DN first interacted with Auto1 (then called WKDA or WirKaufenDeinAuto), the business was 9 months old, had opened its first three locations only and was buying and selling under 200 cars a month (compared with 615,000 cars annually 6 years later).
A key factor in Auto1’s success was its rapid execution capability. Christian Bertermann and Hakan Koc were the perfect match to take on this challenge. In their previous roles at Home24 and Groupon, where they were trained by Europe’s finest Oliver Samwer himself, the duo already proved their ability to roll out high growth ventures launching in many new cities and geographies in short periods of time. We could also envision the quality of organization Christian and Hakan set out to build through meeting the employees, executives and advisors they convinced, to join the company early, such as Ronny Lange, who DN Capital later backed successfully as co-Founder of Quandoo together with Philipp Magin.
Auto1’s success story needs to be put into perspective of the overall market. The used car market in Europe is not only huge (€600 billion a year for the B2B and B2C segments), it is also fragmented, regional, unsophisticated, opaque and composed of many intermediaries taking small commissions along the value chain. In other words, it was the perfect breeding ground for a data-driven ambitious challenger. Auto1 was the first company to provide transparency, sophistication, disintermediation, trustworthiness (on both the customer and dealer side) and convenience through leveraging technology. We were immediately hooked by the strong networks effects scale and technology could bring in this model.
Since leading the Series A round, we have had the privilege to support Auto1 on its incredible journey to dominate the used car industry as the company scaled all over Europe in record speed, raised funds from some of the most renowned investors in the industry, and achieved one of the largest public events in Europe’s venture history! We at DN Capital are incredibly proud and honored that we had the chance to be a small part of this journey and give our wholehearted congratulations to all team members, advisors and co-investors.
Going forward, we are thrilled to continue supporting the Auto1 team with their ambitious plans, and we look forward to seeing the company exceed all expectations and transform the €1.4 trillion used car market globally.
This liquidity event demonstrates the ambition and success of the European start-up ecosystem that DN has been involved in since its start. We look forward to working with future entrepreneurs that want to create global category leaders and if you are starting such a company do not hesitate to reach out to us.
The DN team