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Autoquake appoints former Europe President Dermot Halpin as new CEO

Dermot Halpin, CEO, the UK’s largest online used car retailer, today announced that former president of Expedia Europe (S&P 500; EXPE) Dermot Halpin has joined as its CEO. Whilst at Expedia, Dermot had overall responsibility for Expedia Europe, which included the Expedia, and Expedia Private Label businesses. Expedia Europe grew to around £2.5 billion of sales in 2008.

“Over the past five years has developed an excellent e-commerce platform to sell fleet cars directly to consumers. Dermot is a world-class e-commerce expert and brings deep online experience in one of the most dynamic and competitive online markets. The company is now ready to take the next big step in its growth and we are delighted to welcome Dermot in his new role as CEO of” says Fergal Mullen, General Partner of Highland Capital Partners, an investor in

“At Expedia we were the internet pioneers who made travel products available to consumers in an easy and transparent way. We built one of the biggest travel companies in the world by helping consumers find the right flights and hotels at lower prices, and by helping the hotels and airlines to improve their margins by providing a new and efficient method of distribution. There are clear parallels with which uses the internet to help people to purchase cars in a more transparent way, and at the same time helps fleets to make their inventory available directly to consumers to achieve higher returns” says Dermot Halpin

Dermot spent over 7 years at Expedia, starting in 2001 as Operations Director for the UK business and then holding the role of President for Expedia Europe for the last 3 years. Prior to that Dermot held several senior positions within Tele2, a Swedish telecoms operator. He holds an MBA from INSEAD and studied Engineering at University College Dublin, Ireland. is on track to increase the number of cars it has sold by 60% in 2009 with revenue increasing by 180% in 2009. The company has contracts with 10 of the UK’s top 20 leasing companies to remarket their cars.

“We take a long-term interest in our companies and have big aspirations for them. We have continued to be impressed by the level of growth and innovation at We see Autoquake as being a key player both in terms of how fleets increasingly use the internet to sell their vehicles and in how consumers buy cars online.” says Kevin Comolli, Managing General Partner at Accel Partners, an investor in’s previous CEO Garry Hobson is leaving the company. The team at would like to thank Garry for his contributions to the company.

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- Notes to Editors -

About’s proven online retail model sells high quality used cars on behalf of large corporate fleet and leasing companies direct to consumers through its website has pioneered the concept of enabling consumers to buy a used car from the comfort of their home. Cars are displayed in’s virtual showroom with descriptions including 40 high quality digital pictures. The breadth and transparency of information about the vehicle dramatically improves the purchase experience for the buyers who are enthusiastically embracing the model which includes low, no haggle prices. All cars go through a 141 point inspection and come with a 100% money back guarantee. Car finance, warranty, insurance, and delivery are supplementary options that buyers can benefit from.

Fleets typically remarket cars through trade channels such as wholesale auctions where cars are sold at trade prices to car dealers. For fleets is an attractive disposal channel that gives them a slice of the retail margin whilst delivering days to sale that are similar to auctions. sells used cars on behalf of large fleet and leasing companies. The ex-company cars are taken directly from the UK fleet operators, prepared to retail condition and sold via the website. Because takes out a step in the value chain, it can provide higher returns for fleets while still saving consumers money. The company is funded by leading venture capital companies Accel Partners and Highland Capital Partners who are investors in companies such as Facebook, Digg and Real Networks.

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