Mar 30, 2021

How Cazoo is bringing ecommerce disruption to used cars

Ecommerce
Startup
Cazoo
SPAC
Sam Steers
2 min
You may have heard of AutoTrader, but what about Cazoo? Here's an explantion ahead of its NYSE listing
You may have heard of AutoTrader, but what about Cazoo? Here's an explantion ahead of its NYSE listing...

When looking to buy a used car, websites such AutoTrader and Ebay are most likely the first to come to mind. 

Spotting a gap in the market, Cazoo has recently entered the industry with intent to employ disruptive ecommerce techniques. Unlike AutoTrader and Ebay, Cazoo’s personalised delivery experience is changing the way people buy used cars due to the fact that users of the website are able to purchase cars directly online - compared to the more traditional method of viewing cars in person. 

Founded in 2018 by Alex Chesterman, whose previous companies have included the likes of property website Zoopla, the London-based Cazoo is an online used car-buying website that allows users to purchase or finance cars which are then able to be either collected in person or delivered to an address. 

Making waves in the used car industry  

Cazoo claims that each car they own is fully reconditioned before every sale, resulting in “guaranteed quality.”

Whether a customer chooses home delivery or collection, Cazoo also claims that either option will be conducted by a “Qualified Handover Specialist” and comes with “a 7-Day Money Back Guarantee, a free 90-day warranty with RAC roadside assistance and 7 days of free driveaway insurance.”

The latest SPAC merger

The company’s approach has paid off considering it is now set to list on the New York Stock Exchange via a $7bn merger with SPAC AJAX I.

Chesterman, Cazoo’s founder and CEO, said: “This announcement is another major milestone in our continued drive to transform the way people buy cars across Europe. We have created the most comprehensive and fully integrated offering in the largest retail sector which currently has very low digital penetration. This deal will provide us with almost $1 billion of further funds to fuel our growth and I am delighted to be partnering with Dan and his team at AJAX to rapidly expand and deliver the best car buying experience to consumers across Europe.”

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

Microsoft
NASCAR
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

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