Car subscriptions firm Drover has raised £20.5m.

The London-headquartered firm offers an alternative to car ownership, where users pay a recurring fee for the right to use a car with insurance, maintenance, tax, MOT and breakdown coverage.

Its customers can swap vehicles during the subscription or cancel their subscriptions outright.

Channel 4 Ventures and Rider Global, as well as existing investors Cherry Ventures, bp ventures, Partech, Version One and Forward Partners also participated in the round.

The funding round was co-led by Target Global, RTP Global and Autotech Ventures, and will be used to bolster technology and marketing, and scale the business across the UK and France.

The firm reports it more than doubled its subscriptions in May compared to the same time last year.

The car market is one of the last retail categories that has yet to shift online, with online penetration of car sales being still below 1%, while 20% of all UK retail sales are now online, explained Felix Leuschner, Founder and CEO of Drover.

“Drover’s digital ‘cars-as-a-service’ model is the right approach to truly build the ‘Amazon of Cars’ as it lends itself much better to an online model than does the long-term commitment, high ticket size type transaction of buying a car with cash or on finance,” he said.

“The Drover team has been agile through COVID-19 and that has enabled us to continue to show fantastic growth in a challenging time.

“The need for a simpler, more flexible model for car ownership is only accelerating and we’re proud to be leading that journey in the UK and France and in hopefully many more markets in the future.”