Auto entrepreneur raises £250k for platform to transform car dealerships
An entrepreneur who aims to transform the way car dealerships operate has raised £250,000 to roll out his new software platform to the industry.
Sanj Gidda, who founded the Wayroo platform, secured the investment from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).
Wayroo allows car dealerships engaged in vehicle leasing to digitise their operations – replacing manual processes and spreadsheets, improving efficiency, increasing sales and providing greater insights to support decision making.
Sanj recognised the challenges faced by car dealerships through his experience as CEO of VoozoDealer, the Wolverhampton-based car leasing brokerage which he founded in 2014. He launched Wayroo in 2019, with backing from private investors, and has already built relationships with dealerships. The funding will allow him and his team – which includes CFO Sash Rana and CTO Arvind Sood – to further develop the platform and roll it out across the automotive industry.
Sanj Gidda, founder and CEO of Wayroo, said:
“The shift from car sales to leasing and other market trends are driving the need for efficiencies. Our platform helps dealerships to streamline their processes, allowing them to monitor the performance of their sales and marketing operations and source the right number of vehicles to meet demand. We believe Wayroo could be a key step in building a digital ecosystem which would eventually link suppliers and transform the automotive industry.”
David Baker, Investment Manager at Mercia, added:
“Through his industry experience, Sanj has recognised the challenges dealerships face. The launch of Wayroo is even more timely given the impact of the pandemic and the move to remote sales and working. The funding will allow him to roll out this new solution to help dealerships to survive in the digital era.”
Ken Cooper, Managing Director at the British Business Bank, said:
“The MEIF is a key part of the British Business Bank’s work supporting Midlands’ innovation and this latest investment in Wayroo is a great example of how companies can use this support, in this case to drive forward digitisation within an established industry. We look forward to seeing Wayroo grow as its software is rolled out and would encourage other ambitious businesses in the region to consider the finance options available through MEIF to maximise their potential.”
Paul Brown, Black Country LEP Board Member said:
“We are delighted to see the MEIF supporting companies in the Black Country to develop new ways of working, particularly during a period where business is focused on resilience, growth and recovery in this new and challenging working environment. The MEIF aims to support business in achieving economic growth through enterprise, and projects like Wayroo are a fantastic example of the Proof of Concept and Early Stage fund in action. We look forward to seeing the positive impact Wayroo has on the automotive sector.”
Jamie Partington of Higgs & Sons provided legal advice to Mercia on the deal while Jon Gill and Rachel Kelly of Bristol-based TLT advised Wayroo.
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
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Mercia Asset Management PLC
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About Mercia Asset Management PLC
Mercia is a proactive, specialist asset manager focused on supporting regional SMEs to achieve their growth aspirations. Mercia provides capital across its four asset classes of balance sheet, venture, private equity and debt capital: the Group’s ‘Complete Connected Capital’. The Group initially nurtures businesses via its third-party funds under management, then over time Mercia can provide further funding to the most promising companies, by deploying direct investment follow-on capital from its own balance sheet.
The Group has a strong UK footprint through its regional offices, 19 university partnerships and extensive personal networks, providing it with access to high-quality deal flow. Mercia currently has c.£800million of assets under management and, since its IPO in December 2014, has invested over £96million into its direct investment portfolio. Mercia Asset Management PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic “MERC”.
The Group raises its own Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Funds and details about open offers can be found through Mercia’s website.
Mercia Asset Management PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic “MERC” and includes the following wholly owned subsidiaries –
- Mercia Fund Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 524856
- Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 183363
- EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 443560
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF):
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof of Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity,
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South East Midlands in the East Midlands.
The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, the West Midlands and East & South East Midlands.
The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb
About the British Business Bank
The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.
The British Business Bank programmes were supporting nearly £8bn of finance to almost 94,800 smaller businesses at end of June 2020. Since March 2020, the British Business Bank has launched four new Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering tens of billions of pounds of finance to 1.5m businesses.
As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit, the Finance Hub has expanded and it now targets a wider business audience. It continues to provide information and support for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses, but now provides increased content, information and products for businesses in survival and recovery mindsets. The Finance Hub has been redesigned and repositioned to reflect this, during this period of economic uncertainty.
As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, British Business Bank plc is wholly owned by HM Government and is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates through a number of subsidiaries, none of which are authorised or regulated by the FCA or the PRA.
British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.