The SoftBank-backed automotive e-commerce platform developer ACV Auctions has gone public in an IPO. The company is part of the vehicle marketplace space which has seen much attention from corporate venture investors.

US-based online automotive marketplace ACV Auctions, which counts telecoms and internet group SoftBank among its backers, raised nearly $416m when it went public on the Nasdaq Stock Market. It priced more than 16.5 million shares at $25.00 each, above the $20 to $22 price range it had already lifted from $16 to $20. Shares closed at $31.25 on the first day of trading, giving it a market capitalisation of about $4.8bn. The offering followed more than $300m in funding raised, $160m of which came in a series E round co-led by investment and financial services group Fidelity and investment manager Wellington Management in 2019.

Launched in 2014, ACV Auctions runs a wholesale vehicle marketplace for franchise and second-hand car dealerships to purchase and sell vehicles through an auction process taking 20 minutes. The company registered a $41m net loss and $208m in revenue during 2020.

The company is part of the wider vehicle marketplace space, which has received much attention from corporate venture investors, as the GCV Analytics chart below shows.  The number of deals in this area reached a top at 32 rounds in 2017 and then nearly climbed back to it with 30 rounds in 2019. The total estimated capital in such rounds registered an all-time high in 2018 at just over $4bn. In 2020, which was a challenging year for most vehicle selling businesses due to the pandemic, we saw a drop versus previous years – with 22 rounds and total estimated capital in them at $1.28bn.