Financial intermediary: Serena Capital
Sector: Automotive (Online automotive retailer)
Number of employees: 500
Job creation: 100
Financing purpose: to purchase a factory and expand business
At the outset, Aramisauto dealt in new cars, but by 2008, founders Guillaume Paoli and Nicolas Chartier turned their attention to the French used car market, where 5 used cars are sold for every new car. “We wanted to be on the consumer’s side, offering a new type of service with more choice, greater reliability and better prices” explains Guillaume.
Aramisauto set up a one-stop-shop to buy and sell second-hand vehicles, including - crucially - extensively servicing the car before putting it back onto the market. This way, Aramisauto manages to offer high reliability and guarantees in a market that, historically, has been notoriously unreliable for consumers.
The company’s approach is 100% digitalised and includes delivery or collection of the vehicle to or from your home. With this level of reliability and a money-back guarantee, Aramisauto essentially allows its clients to buy a car without ever getting off their couch. “85% of our clients only see the car on their screen before buying it” says Guillaume, confirming the success of the business model.
In developing the company, however, there came a point where growth capital was necessary to expand and meet growing demand. Serena Capital, an EIF-backed investment fund, saw the potential and didn’t hesitate: “The business model was really visionary. 10 years ago, people didn’t imagine buying cars online.”
Serena Capital invested in Aramisauto but also offered strategic advice, helping to take the company to the next level. The financial support allowed Aramisauto to purchase land and construct a factory to run the new business line, servicing 800 cars per month and creating 100 new jobs. The company exploded from 150 employees in 2009 to close to 500 by 2016, by which time annual vehicle sales also peaked at 32 000.
Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to access EU financing through our access to finance website.