Octopus Titan VCT plc has added to its track record of investing into highly successful European technology companies, as Cazoo, the UK headquartered online retailer of used cars, lists this week (27th August) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This adds to an already exciting 2021 for Octopus Titan VCT plc, following the sale of Depop to Etsy for $1.625 billion, and WaveOptics to Snap for over $500 million earlier this year.
With an estimated market cap of $7 billion at the time of listing, Cazoo will become the most valuable VCT-backed company to go public.
Malcolm Ferguson, Partner at Octopus Titan VCT plc:
“The dazzling success of Cazoo in less than two years since first launching to the public is testament to the talent and ambition of the founder Alex Chesterman and his team.
“Alex is no stranger to this kind of success either, having previously founded Zoopla, the first VCT backed unicorn. The longstanding relationship developed through investing into his prior companies gave us the confidence to invest in Cazoo when it was still at idea-stage, and we have been thrilled to see its phenomenal growth as it quickly became one of Europe’s fastest growing and most valuable venture-backed companies.
“Cazoo’s story is also another fantastic example of VCTs ability to find and support the UK’s future tech stars, while allowing retail investors to benefit from their early growth too. Opportunities to invest in private markets like this have typically been limited to institutions, but VCTs offer this access to retail investors, providing those comfortable with the risks a tax efficient way of investing in dynamic and innovative growing businesses.
“As more VCTs start to open for fundraising, now could be a great time for investors who are comfortable with the risk of investing in early-stage companies to diversify their portfolio and gain access to the UK venture ecosystem and the unicorns it is now producing regularly.”
Alliott Cole, co-CEO of Octopus Ventures:
“This is another landmark moment for the UK tech scene and an incredible achievement by Alex Chesterman and his team.
“We had the good fortune of backing Alex with his previous ventures, so when he came to us with the proposal for Cazoo, we didn’t hesitate.
“Despite the strength of our conviction, the speed of execution has still been extraordinary to witness. The logistical challenge of building a business like Cazoo cannot be underestimated, but from day one it has delivered a brilliant experience that customers love.
“I think this sets a new bar in terms of what is possible in Europe. To go from a standing start in December 2018 to a business on track for $1bn in revenues and more than 2,250 employees less than three years later is remarkable. Not to mention the continued expansion across Europe and the various acquisitions along the way.
“This speed of growth would be something special for a software business, which can scale very efficiently, so for Cazoo to do this with all the infrastructure and operational complexities involved makes it even more impressive.”
For journalists in their professional capacity only. The value of an investment, and any income from it, can fall as well as rise. Investors may not get back the full amount they invest. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may change in the future. Tax reliefs depend on the VCT maintaining its VCT-qualifying status. VCT shares could fall or rise in value more than other shares listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. They may also be harder to sell. Personal opinions may change and should not be seen as advice or a recommendation. This information is not investment or tax advice. We recommend investors seek professional advice before deciding to invest. Investors should only subscribe for shares based on information in the prospectus and the Key Information Document, which can be obtained from octopusinvestments.com. Issued by Octopus Investments Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT. Registered in England and Wales No. 03942880. We record telephone calls. Issued: August 2021.