European founders, adept at launching startups which cross many international borders are fast ganging a reputation for launching in emerging markets. In countries where markets are often still very chaotic, there remains a host of opportunities.
That’s evidenced by the news today that the Frontier Car Group, which builds and runs marketplaces for used cars in emerging markets, has closed a $22 million investment, which was co-led by Balderton Capital, EchoVC+ and TPG/Satya. Also included was NEA, Partech Ventures and “a few large global family offices” according to their statement.
Frontier now has operations in Chile, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey but operates out of Berlin, with 200 employees. It’s going to use the cash to expand into Chile, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.
In a statement Sujay Tyle, co-founder and CEO of Frontier said: “The automotive sales sector is fundamentally broken in top-tier emerging markets around the world. Despite massive consumer demand, there is no good way for people to sell their cars efficiently for a fair price. Our vision is to reinvent how the used automotive sales sector works in global emerging markets through technology and infrastructure creation.”
Daniel Waterhouse, general partner at Balderton Capital said: “The cofounders have a clear vision for the future of automotive sales and are leading a Berlin-based team who have developed a technical solution and operational model that allows the company to scale effectively at great speed.”
Waterhouse met Tyle at a tech conference in Dublin when he was 17 and had already graduated from Harvard at 15 and built an enterprise that helped children with curable blindness to see again. Tyle was on the founding team and COO of Hired.com, based in the USA.
Founded by Tyle, Peter Lindholm and Andre Hussman. Lindholm was an investment manager at Millicom and helped Rocket Internet globally in operations and strategy. Hussman was director of engineering at Auto1 in Berlin.