DriverSide, a startup that is taking the unique approach of helping users maintain their cars rather than buy or sell them, has closed a $5.3 million Series B funding round led by Allegis Capital, with Catamount Ventures and the company’s founders also participating in the round. As part of the deal, Allegis’ Bob Ackerman will be joining the DriverSide board of directors. The startup has now raised a total of $8.4 million.
DriverSide founder Trevor Traina says that because of the economic downturn, DriverSide has actually been able to thrive where other car sites (and the automotive industry in general) have have been hit hard. A recent study conducted by DriverSide and Kelton found that 82% of car owners are keeping their car longer because of the recession. Instead of looking to buy or sell their vehicles, most people are buckling down with their current cars and are interested in keeping them running for as long as possible, as cheaply as possible.
That’s where DriverSide comes in. The site helps take the guesswork out of car-repairs, offering firm estimates for the cost of parts and labor, along with advice from certified mechanics and an editorial staff headed by a Yahoo Autos veteran. The site has grown to 250,000 registered users since its launch last June, and is also forming partnerships with a number of automotive companies. And unlike most other car sites, where users only visit very sporadically (namely when they’re looking to buy a new car), DriverSide can attract long-term users.
In conjunction with today’s funding announcement, DriverSide has also announced that it has partnered with Integrated Services, the maker of LubeSoft, a POS system for managers of lube shops. DriverSide will be offering LubeSoft customers online customer virtual “garages”.