Mitsui & Co. acquired 25% of the Japanese subsidiary of Russian online auction CarPrice


Director of the Moscow office of Almaz Capital Partners (owner of CarPrice online car auction) Irina Goryacheva confirmed the deal. The exact transaction amount was not disclosed, claiming that CarPrice has attracted “several hundred million Japanese yen”. A source familiar with the transaction said that its amount could be about $3-5 million. Financing will be used to continue expansion in Japan and the development of technology platforms.

In 2015 CarPrice already attracted $40 million investment from Baring Vostok and Almaz Capital. Among other shareholders are funds AltaIR,, Fastlane Ventures, Internet entrepreneur Oskar Hartmann. The total investment in CarPrice so far was estimated at $42 million.

CarPrice office in Tokyo opened in February 2016 and is working on the business model of the Russian company: the service offers the owner of the car to sell it on the online auction, for which in real time car dealers from all over the country make bids. If the owner agrees, he can sell the car and receive the money in the CarPrice office. The service earns a commission from the dealers in the amount of 2-5% of the transaction. 150 cars are sold daily through the online auction. Since its foundation in June 2014 – 40 thousand cars were sold on the auction. The figures for Japan are not disclosed.

There are no direct competitors on the Asian market working on the model of the online auction in real time , says CarPrice Director General Denis Dolmatov. “Our format — significant savings for Japan, since the standard offline solution requires that you transport the car to the auction first, and then to the buyer,” he explains. The platform is equally suitable for с2b-and for b2b transactions and Mitsui partner network and reputation will have a positive impact primarily on the b2b segment. According to Mr. Dolmatov, the company has already deployed a full-fledged operation in Japan, but “Japanese consumers require more time for testing the new service”.

Vehicle Association of Japan 2016 data shows that  the average family in Japan owns 1.064 cars, and the average price of a used car in April 2017 amounted to 362 thousand yen, or 188,7 thousand RUB . In addition it shows that sales of used cars in 2016 amounted to nearly 3.3 million vehicles.

Mitsui & Co. actively investing in Russian business. Its portfolio includes stakes in Qiwi bank, manufacturer of liquefied natural gas in Sakhalin Energy, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies “R-Pharm”, etc., the conglomerate is involved in power generation, machine building, finance, chemical and food industry. According to its own data, the value of Mitsui & Co assets is $102,7 billion.

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