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EIS Portfolio Company appears in the Express

EIS Portfolio Company appears in the Express

Car dealer steers a new online course for sales

START-UP car dealer Rockar is looking to steer the sector in a new direction by setting up in a major shopping centre and using mobile payment technology to drive the operation.

For customers popping into Bluewater in Kent, with plans to splash out on a smart jacket or some silky lingerie, this means they could find themselves snapping up a new Hyundai motor too.

Rockar, sited just a step away from stores like M&S, is the first car sales company to harness the forces of mainstream retail and dovetail those with digital, says founder Simon Dixon, 49, who was inspired by the efficient way staff in Apple stores took payments.

“We have turned the traditional car dealership process on its head,” Dixon, who has created 36 new jobs,explains.

Equity investor Seneca Partners Ltd also made a considerable contribution to getting Rockar off the ground. It took a 20 per cent stake, putting in £1 million, its investors using incentives available through the popular enterprise investment schemes (the EIS and SEIS) providing tax reliefs and spreading risk.

Seneca’s director Richard Manley said: “Rockar is led by a first class management team with vast experience in its sector. This, combined with its pioneering concept, was key for us in deciding to back the business.

“We continue to see strong demand for the type of growth capital that we provide across all sectors. Against this backdrop, EIS and SEIS have a crucial role to play in continuing to provide a route via which the SMEs can attract finance to support their growth.”

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