May 19, 2020 / 2:16 AM / 2 months ago

Online used car seller Vroom files to go public

(Reuters) - Online used car seller Vroom Inc filed for a U.S. initial public offering on Monday, at a time when the coronavirus-led restrictions are shifting consumer spending to online platforms.

The company said it saw a huge surge in its e-commerce business, with the unit’s revenue rising 160% in the first quarter of 2020.

Auto retailers have been slow to embrace e-commerce, but the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing dealers to turn to digital tools to close deals without a handshake and arrange for vehicles to be picked up or delivered without requiring customers to visit stores.

Vroom’s rival Carvana Co (CVNA.N), which went public in 2017 at $15, plunged nearly 80% from a record closing high of $110.09 on Feb. 21 to a March low of $22.19 amid a broader market selloff, before recovering. The stock is up 7% so far this year at $98.6.

Net loss attributable to Vroom’s common stockholders narrowed to nearly $41.1 million in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with $45.1 million a year earlier. First quarter revenue jumped nearly 60%, it said in a regulatory filing.

In 2019, total revenue rose to $1.19 billion (976 million pounds) from $855.4 million in 2018.

The company plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “VRM”.

Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, Allen & Co and Wells Fargo Securities are among the lead underwriters of the offering.

Reporting by C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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