“If you think like a consumer and you think there is a way to improve this market, chances are most consumers will think the same way.”
Not many entrepreneurs would like to call themselves copycats, but Alex Chesterman, the man behind the online used car site Cazoo and, before that, at the DVD rental company LoveFilm.
Not that he’s stealing other people’s ideas, but he’s good at spotting business models in America that would do well here.
Cazoo, which has just announced half-year results with sales up 521 percent to 248 million pounds, is based on Carvana, an American Internet car dealer valued at 46 billion US dollars. And LoveFilm (formerly ScreenSelect) was based on the US DVD rental service Netflix.
With the online real estate agency Zoopla, it was another US company, Zillow.
Cazoo is expected to be valued at $ 7 billion
Even before that, Alex Chesterman is worth £ 705 million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
Chesterman said, “In the case of LoveFilm, Zoopla and Cazoo, you saw a model in the US that really solved a problem and improved a market … and then brought it to the UK.”
Alex Chesterman is also one of the UK’s most active tech angel investors and mentors who has supported startups like Graze, Secret Escapes and CarWow and was awarded an OBE for digital entrepreneurship services in 2016.
“If I had a skill set, I can start with a blank sheet of paper and figure out how to solve a problem, be it through transparency, convenience or efficiency,” he told the Financial Mail on Sunday.