Car subscription platform imove closes €16M Series A0
by Jordan Symmonds on 29.06.21
Last updated at 19.10.22 12:45 PM
imove tech recently rebranded to Casi.
Venture capital player Norselab, and the Norwegian state climate investment company Nysnø and existing owner Hedin Automotive also joined the capital round. imove does an equity issue of €13M combined with a €3M secondary sale of shares to further improve the company’s cap table.
“With a monthly growth rate of 20%, imove has been moving at supersonic speed. Amazing customer feedback, strong unit economics, and an industry ripe for change told us that the timing was right for pushing the ‘Scale button’. We are extremely excited to bring on investors that bring the right type of strategic capabilities, know-how, and global reach. As the imove name inclines, we need to move. Therefore, we have spent a lot of time finding the right chemistry between the new investors and the company. We can’t wait to unleash the power of the new team!” imove Co-Founder and CEO, Hans Kristian Aas.
It’s not a car. It’s a lifestyle.
Founded in 2018, imove enables players across industries like automotive, finance, insurance but also electricity and telecom, to use their white-label technology to offer car subscriptions as an alternative to car ownership or leasing. The team is led by co-founders Hans Kristian Aas (CEO) and Gunnar Birkenfeldt (CPO). 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.
“A flexible car subscription service allows users to make smart and environmentally friendly choices without any compromises. It’s not a car. It’s a lifestyle” imove Co-founder, Gunnar Birkenfeldt.
People won’t own, they’ll subscribe
Car subscription is expected to make a substantial impact on the Automotive industry. OEMs and industry experts estimate that 20-30% of new car sales globally will be in the form of car subscriptions already by 2025. Car subscription and bundling services are top strategic priorities for Automotive executives.
A capital raise focused on scalability
The equity issue of 13 MEUR led by AutoScout24 will be used to grow imove’s presence in the Nordics and expand the platform globally. Scaling car subscriptions requires wide distribution, sourcing of vehicle fleets, financing, ecosystem partnerships, technology and a team prepared to go the extra mile.
“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 owners 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!” imove Chairman of the Board, Tore Totland.
AutoScout24, being the largest pan-European online car market, has a unique position in the industry - both by being the go-to place for users looking for a car and a preferred sales channel for automotive players. The marketplace covers European markets as Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Italy and France. AutoScout24’s marketplaces will act as a distribution channel for imove’s electric vehicle subscription service making the “Nordic EV experience” available for users in some of the largest European automotive markets. AutoScout24 and imove will together offer distribution, technology and services to any type of provider that would like to launch and scale a car subscription service – either it is an existing car subscription provider, automotive player, financial institution or a different type of fleet.
“With this investment, AutoScout24 clearly positions itself at the forefront of supporting new ownership models for consumers and customers, and makes a decisive step in supporting the EV introduction.” Chief Strategy Officer at AutoScout24, Borja Muller.
The equity issue of 13 MEUR led by AutoScout24 will be used to grow imove’s presence in the Nordics and expand the platform globally.
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 at Norselab, we also find a former Winter Olympic champion in downhill, Aksel Lund Svindal. Having had sponsorships with Audi, Porsche, and Red Bull, he is an Automotive industry profile that can bring a magic touch to imove’s scaling.
“imove has a solid team that have created a service the customers love, and at the same time is very attractive for B2B partners. Norway has a world-leading position within e-mobility. This is reinforced by the interest global players have shown for imove. We are looking forward to joining imove - helping to scale the company both at home and abroad” Partner at Norselab, Aksel Lund Svindal.
Nysnø, also from Norway, 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. With 2.4 billion NOK in assets under management, Nysnø invests in clean energy, digital and enabling technologies, resource efficiency, sustainable demand, and the circular economy. imove’s clear objective to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles worldwide fits very well with Nysnø’s investment universe.
“The mobility sector is facing major and exciting changes going forward in the need of finding cleaner solutions and adapting to new business models. We invest in imove to meet these challenges, and we are confident that their competent team will deliver future-fit and profitable solutions. It is also a great opportunity to have both Norselab and Autoscout24 as strategic co-investors to help imove grow in new markets“ Investment Manager at Nysnø, John Egil Johannessen
Hedin Automotive, an existing owner at imove, is a leading automotive player in the Nordics distributing over 30 different brands. They offer hands-on experience and insights that you only get by being in the industry.
“Imove is an exciting and innovative brand. Their rethinking car ownership resonates well with how we do things in Hedin Automotive. The world is fast changing, and so is traditional ownership of cars. We want to play an active role in shaping the mobility of the future with innovative approaches and partners such as imove. This is fully in line with our DNA of being Surprisingly different, noticeably better” CEO of Hedin Automotive, Marcus Larsson
As part of the transaction, the company also facilitates a 3 MEUR secondary sale of shares. This cap table re-allocation is set to improve the company’s scalability.
The transaction has been facilitated by investment bank IEG and supported by legal company Thommessen.
Not quite done…
The capital raise gives imove a long runway for scaling existing services and expanding into new markets. In parallel, the company is working on activities that might require additional funding and investors. As they say, to be continued.
The existing services on the imove platform allow users to subscribe to cars from eighteen different manufactures and over 50 different models.
Radical changes in the Automotive industry
Until recently, the Automotive industry has been considered a stable business with a value chain that had not evolved for decades. Now, strong trends are changing the industry at a rapid pace. The adoption of electric vehicles is changing the dynamics for both consumers and industry players, introducing less brand awareness, shorter release cycles, reduced maintenance, and services bundled to the car. Many car manufactures are challenging the traditional distribution model using importers and dealerships, introducing their own digital concepts accompanied by new customer journeys, flagship stores, and pop-up stores. The Automotive industry is not immune to the Sharing economy, and this trend is run by new customer expectations. Instead of owning a car, users look to have access to the right car at the right time and place. Let’s not even get into autonomous cars and the industry changes that might apply. The once stable automotive industry has turned into a place of radical changes. Rupert Murdoch’s quote “The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow” seems relevant to consider.
Making electric vehicles available worldwide
imove has built a fleet of more than a thousand electric vehicles in its own car subscription service that was launched in Norway in 2018, and in Sweden earlier this year. The imove service lets the end-user subscribe to an electric car for an all-inclusive monthly fee, including unique features like access to a weekend car, free mileage, home delivery, seasonal tire change at the customer’s home amongst others. With Norway being a forerunner of electric cars, it’s in imove’s DNA to establish new ways of lowering the barrier of entry to go green. With the recent roll-out experience from a far less mature EV market in Sweden, imove has already proven that the flexibility of a car subscription diminishes the uncertainty users might have for electric vehicles. Users prefer paying a fixed monthly fee with no commitment and having access to other vehicles, rather than making the investment of buying and owning a vehicle.
imove enables 3rd parties to launch their own branded car subscription. The technical platform has been carefully built based on hands-on experience to offer a seamless digital experience for end-users and smart data-driven solutions for the providers. A provider decides the value proposition of the service, product features, vehicle fleet, and look & feel. Each provider comes with a different set of capabilities, and imove complements these by offering ecosystem services such as financing, insurance, and the needed operational service to run customer service and logistics. The existing services on the imove platform allow users to subscribe to cars from eighteen different manufactures and over 50 different models. The platform’s fleet management system is fueled by data allowing providers to optimize for operational efficiency, increased profitability, and aids with the decision making and buying processes. Not to mention, the technology helps providers sell vehicles in the fleet at the right time.