The European Electrification Kickstarter = Electric Vehicle Subscription

A powerful syndicate - led by AutoScout 24 and co-led by Norselab, Nysnø & Hedin Automotive   - invests in Norwegian car subscription platform imove for its growth phase in Europe

The Background

Regulatory pressures on internal combustion engines combined with technological improvements in electric powertrains and batteries are driving the surge of demand for electric vehicles (EV). Unfortunately, EVs are significantly more expensive, and people show hesitation to invest in their own EVs. imove offers an elegant white-label solution through its car subscription platform, enabling customers to easily adjust their car to their current needs through efficient fleet management. The team is led by co-founders Hans Kristian Aas (CEO) and Gunnar Birkenfeldt (CPO), who stated “Having a car may seem like an aspiring idea, but everyone that’s experienced it knows it can lead to more headaches than happiness. Enabling the Automotive industry to be more customer-oriented has been a driving motivation for the founders.”

The Deal

AutoScout24, the largest pan-European online car market, is leading a consortium of investors, including the venture capital players Norselab, climate fund Nysnø and existing shareholder Hedin Automotive, to take imove into the next growth phase. Fredrik Gørrissen, Managing Director of IEG – Investment Banking Group, adds: "We are proud to make a valuable contribution in the field of EV mobility for the next generations." The company plans to use the new growth capital to scale existing services and to actively drive new car ownership models in Europe. In this way, the strong growth of the past years is to be continued.

Stefan Heilmann, CEO and Managing Director of IEG - Investment Banking Group: "imove’s unique EV subscription platform will accelerate the EV penetration in the mobility sector at the speed of light. With AutoScout24 as a roll-out partner and shareholder coupled with imove’s execution excellence and technology leadership, this partnership is a match made in heaven."

Hans Kristian Aas, CEO and co-founder of imove showed his satisfaction of the IEG’s service by saying: “IEG was instrumental in bringing together this stellar investor syndicate. Their industrial expertise, strategic mindset, and global investor reach was pivotal to this transaction”. IEG – Investment Banking Group has acted as exclusive financial advisor to imove and its shareholders.

The Partners

imove was founded in 2018 and is a Norwegian mobility company that specializes in car subscription services and solutions. imove has set itself the goal of actively promoting an alternative to traditional car ownership or leasing, enabling customers to make smart and environmentally friendly choices without any compromises. The transaction was led by co-founders Hans Kristian Aas (CEO) and Gunnar Birkenfeldt (CPO). imove is a company with extensive growth plans in Europe and needs to expand its car fleet to meet the demand for car subscriptions, and a significant number of 3rd party SaaS contracts. The funds will be used for extensive growth of its fleet in Norway, taking a leading position in the Nordics, the market entry in some EU markets as well as further development of imove’s unique technological platform. imove’s new investors include AutoScout24, venture capital players Norselab, climate fund Nysnø as well as the leading automotive player Hedin Automotive.

AutoScout24 is the largest pan-European online car market with over 30 million users per month, more than 43,000 dealer partners and around 500 employees. AutoScout24’s footprint includes the European core markets of Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Italy, France, and Austria. AutoScout24 has been offering private users, car dealers, and other cooperation partners from the automotive, financial, and insurance services sectors a comprehensive digital platform for car trading online since 1998. On the platform, people can buy and sell used and new cars, motorcycles, caravans, and commercial vehicles. In 2020, leasing specialist joined AutoScout24. Together the two marketplaces form the largest online leasing offer in Germany.

Norselab is a leading venture capital fund from Norway with a proven track record of finding scalable tech companies with a purpose for society. The VC fund has a team of experienced entrepreneurs that works hands-on together with the founding team igniting change in traditional industries. Teaming up with the tech founders like Aksel Lund Svindal brought tremendous advantages and insights through his sponsorships with Audi, Porsche, and Red Bull.

Nysnø is a North star among the climate-oriented funds. Backed by the Norwegian government, Nysnø has a portfolio of companies tackling the most pressing challenges our planet faces today. imove’s clear objective to accelerate the adoption of EVs worldwide suits Nysno’s investment mandate. The flexible access to a car subscription has also other environmental benefits, such as choosing a smaller everyday car, accessing a larger car only when needed, easier car sharing and pausing the subscription to be replaced by public transportation or biking.

Hedin Automotive is one of Europe’s largest car dealers with operations in Scandinavia, DACH and Belgium with more than 2,500 employees and EUR 2.8bn in annual sales. Hedin further operates in car-related services and is at the forefront of the transformational changes in the broader automotive ecosystem.

The Perspective

Borja Muller, CSO at AutoScout24 sees the transaction as a huge opportunity. “With this investment, Autoscout24 clearly positions itself at the forefront of supporting new ownership models for customers and makes a decisive step in supporting the EV introduction.” Tore Totland, Chairman of the Board of imove said “Norway has been a perfect place to develop new technologies and business models around the increased demand for EV cars. The imove team has done a fantastic job proving this and now we are ready for an international launch. We have spent a lot of time finding the best investors and new shareholders to help the company for further growth. imove can now announce that we have finally found the perfect team of investors. This journey has just begun!”.