Tech sector sources said that the amount being raised by the company was "staggering" against a backdrop which has seen funds fleeing new investments as they seeks to digest the implications of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rachael Prasher, the Managing Director of What Car?’s parent company, Haymarket Automotive, said: “This is the right thing to do - for the industry and for us. I've heard it said a lot in the last few days but we are all in this together.”
As part of efforts to support its customers, the auto marketplace will not be charging retailers for their advertising packages during April and will also allow customers to defer payment of their advertising costs for March for 30 days.
With reports of up to 50% fewer people visiting physical dealerships the evidence of continuing underlying consumer demand for cars will come as a relief to an industry facing unprecedented challenges.
Peter Vardy, Chief Executive of the Peter Vardy Group, said: “We’re not trying to sell anything. We’re genuinely trying to help the sector out. For a lot of businesses there’s a sense that, if they are not able to transact online in the coming weeks and months, life will be extremely difficult for them.”
Big Motoring World has four sites. According to the Motor Trader Top 50 Independent Dealers it had turnover of £219.4m in 2019. Bailey, now a business investor, has been linked to the project since January 2019.