About six months ago, a new startup called Beepi launched to become the easiest way for users to buy and sell cars online, building a marketplace that guarantees the quality of vehicles while also ensuring sellers get a fair price.
Now the company is opening up its marketplace to a wider area of buyers, introducing a “Prime” option in states neighboring California to have cars shipped to them for $999.
Beepi simplifies the process of selling a car by sending an inspector to verify the quality of the vehicle being listed and to set a guaranteed selling price. That price will be more than what sellers will get from taking a car to a dealership, and if the car doesn’t sell to one of Beepi’s customers within 30 days, the company will buy it for the listed price and sell the car itself.
For buyers, Beepi provides a fair price but also the peace of mind that comes from its inspection process and money-back guarantee. Its technicians do an intensive 185-point inspection and if a car doesn’t pass, it doesn’t get listed. The marketplace also offers a 10-day, no-questions-asked return policy and a three-month, 3,000-mile warranty on all parts and service.
Buyers can apply to finance a vehicle through a financial firm that Beepi has partnered with, or they can pay for a used vehicle with up to five credit cards together. (It also accepts Bitcoin, and has seen a few cars purchased with the cryptocurrency.) The company takes a 9 percent share of all sales that happen on its platform, and since it takes out the middleman, it can offer better prices without a dramatic markup that buyers see at dealership.
Beepi launched in the San Francisco Bay Area, and saw a fair amount of success there. But it recently expanded to Los Angeles, which is the largest car market in the U.S.
Those two cities by themselves offer a fairly liquid supply of cars, but Beepi wanted to expand its potential market of buyers. As a result, it’s now launching a service called Beepi Prime that will enable buyers from outside those markets to purchase cars and have them delivered.
Beepi Prime offers delivery to 140 cities in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon, opening up the company’s marketplace to states neighboring California. For $999, buyers in those states can have a vehicle delivered within five days and receive the same service as the company’s local customers. (Buyers in California still receive free shipping anywhere in the state.)
Buyers outside of California will also receive the car fully detailed and receiving a personal car tour form one of Beepi’s inspectors upon arrival. In other words, the company isn’t shipping these vehicles through some wholesale third-party shipping option, but actually transporting them on its own delivery trucks driven by its own employees. At $999, shipping is less than one would usually pay for one of those services, anyway.
For Beepi Prime customers the same money-back guarantee still applies, and it also extends to the $999 shipping fee. That is, if a customer decides they don’t want to keep a car within 10 days, Beepi will fully refund the purchase, shipping fee and all.
Beepi Prime dramatically opens up the marketplace’s potential customer base, and that’s big news for a company that is already currently on a $10 million revenue run rate. Beepi has raised about $6 million in funding, with investors that include Redpoint Ventures, OLX founder Fabrice Grinda, iVillage co-founder Tina Sharkey, Homeaway co-founder Brian Sharples, former Loopnet CEO Rich Boyle, and Silicon Valley Bank.