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Autoquake set to shake up used car industry with £6 million investment

21 April 2008

Autoquake, the UK’s leading online used car retailer, today announced the closure of a £6 million second round of venture capital funding led by Highland Capital Partners in conjunction with existing investor Accel Partners. The financing is in addition to the £3 million invested by Accel Partners in the summer of 2006 and will allow Autoquake to rapidly grow its UK operations, service offerings, technology platform and brand. It will also provide Autoquake with capital for its planned international expansion.

Autoquake’s proven online retail model sells high quality used cars on behalf of large corporate fleet and leasing companies direct to consumers through its website Autoquake has pioneered the concept of enabling consumers to buy a used car from the comfort of their home. Cars are displayed in Autoquake’s virtual showroom with descriptions including over 50 high quality digital pictures. The breadth and transparency of information about the vehicle dramatically improves the purchase experience for the buyers who are enthusiastically embracing the Autoquake model which includes low, no haggle prices. All cars go through a 120 point inspection and come with a 100% money back guarantee. Car finance, warranty, insurance, part exchange and delivery are supplementary options that buyers can benefit from.

Key to the Autoquake concept is an ecommerce platform that allows cars to be processed with factory like efficiency and to be sold in a fraction of the time that cars remain on traditional dealer forecourts. As a result, Autoquake is able to offer car buyers discounts of more than 10% compared to traditional dealers and car supermarkets whilst still providing substantially higher returns to the fleet companies.

Fleets typically remarket cars through trade channels such as wholesale auctions where cars are sold at trade prices to car dealers. For fleets Autoquake is an attractive disposal channel that gives them an opportunity to obtain a slice of the retail margin whilst delivering days to sale that start to approach those of trade sales. “With Autoquake we have realised substantially higher returns than through our traditional disposal routes. We see this as an attractive route going forward with very exciting potential” says Mark Philips, Finance Director of Zenith Vehicle Contracts. “Using Autoquake has been a great experience so far. It’s an end-to-end remarketing solution with very strong performance” adds Blaine Colston, Head of Operations at Venson Automotive Solutions.

As part of the financing, Fergal Mullen, General Partner at Highland Capital Partners will join the Autoquake board. Fergal comments: “We believe Autoquake is in a unique position to transform the UK used car market. We were particularly impressed by the many happy consumer and fleet customers Autoquake has. It is clear that the company is filling a void both in the consumer purchase experience and the remarketing of fleet cars.”

'Our new financing will enable us to quickly ramp up our operations and develop Autoquake into a recognised and trusted brand. We are delighted to have Highland Capital Partners onboard. Like Accel, they have a breadth of successful ecommerce, internet and retail investments behind them and their track record speaks for itself.” says Garry Hobson, Chief Executive Officer of Autoquake.

Adds Kevin Comolli, Managing Partner of Accel Partners: “We continue to be impressed with the progress Autoquake is making. Key to this is the company’s unique blend of ecommerce and automotive expertise. We look forward to working with the Autoquake and Highland teams to help grow the company and build a category-defining business.”

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

About Autoquake

Autoquake - Simply a better way to buy a used car

Autoquake is the UK’s leading online used car retailer that is revolutionising the automotive industry. The company offer customers the ability to browse and b

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AutoQuake Ltd.

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