AUTO1, a Berlin-based used car trading platform, has released a statement announcing that it received a 460 million euros investment from Japanese multinational telecommunications corporation, Softbank. 

The investment means that Softbank will now own 20% of the company and suggests that Softbank values AUTO1 to be worth 2.9 billion euros.  AUTO1 is expected to use the newly raised funds to support its international expansion plans.

The brand independent automobile wholesaler dealer AUTO1 was founded in 2012 and is aimed exclusively at the used car trade. It enables customers to purchase the car of choice within a few clicks while ensuring that all the cars that are sold on its online platform are well inspected and certified.  

AUTO1 was founded by entrepreneurs Hakan Koc, Christopher Mur and Christian Bertermann. Bertermann saw a market demand for a more efficient used car selling platform after struggling to sell two old cars owned by his grandmother.

The company has become Europe’s leading online marketplace for the buying and selling of used cars with operations in 30 different countries. In 2016 it reported that around 330,000 used cars were sold through its online platform with revenues of 1.5 billion euros. Today Auto1 claims to sell more than 40,000 cars per month.

With Softbank’s investment, AUTO1 has now raised a total of more than $1 billion in funding, according to Crunchbase.  

Akshay Naheta, a partner at SoftBank Investment Advisors, will now become a member of the supervisory board at AUTO1. She was quoted as saying that AUTO1’s platform adds “efficiency and transparency to the fragmented used car market”. The used car market is currently worth more than $300 billion.