SoftBank's Vision Fund Is Said to Invest in Auto1 Group

  • Funding would value used car portal at more than $2.9 billion
  • Investment would be Softbank’s first major deal in Germany

SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund is in talks with Auto1 Group GmbH to invest in the German used-car portal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Vision Fund is set to invest more than 100 million euros ($116 million) in Berlin-based Auto1 at a valuation greater than 2.5 billion euros, said the person, who declined to be named as the discussions are private. No final decision has been made, the person said.

The investment would be SoftBank’s first major deal in Germany, where a burgeoning tech scene has developed in Berlin with companies including Rocket Internet SE, Zalando SE and Delivery Hero AG. Through its $93 billion Vision Fund, which counts technology giants like Apple Inc. as investors, SoftBank has invested in private companies including Slack Technologies Inc. and WeWork Cos., and is finalizing plans to invest in Uber Technologies Inc.

Auto1 bills itself as an online stock exchange for used cars, buying vehicles from individuals and selling them on to dealerships. The company earlier this year raised 360 million euros from investors including Baillie Gifford & Co., Princeville Global and Target Global after doubling its sales to 1.5 billion euros in 2016.

The Financial Times had earlier reported the potential investment.

— With assistance by Ruth David

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