The investment was led by Nordic Eye Venture Capital with participation from the startup studio and seed investment firm, Science.
CarBlip chief executive Brian Johnson said that the company’s main purpose was to bring the car-buying experience online.
“One of the main things about why we started CarBlip is we wanted to circumvent the in-person negotiation process and avoid the influx of calls that a buyer gets,” says Johnson.
The user just downloads an app and looks for the brands they want that are available in an already geo-located area, Johnson said. Shoppers can submit bids on a vehicle privately and receive counter-offers via the app. Then, when they’re ready, they can head down to a dealership to move forward with the purchase, Johnson said.
While Johnson doesn’t have much auto experience himself (outside of marketing), co-founder Eric Brooks and business development executive Kim Lane both spent time in the car business, Johnson said. Brooks founded LA Car Connection, a local car broker, while Lane spent more than a decade at Ford, according to the company’s website.
Like the old Wyper (now called Findy and offering a broader range of matching services) CarBlip touts a Tinder-like interface that lets users swipe to select vehicles they’re interested in; what Johnson says differentiates his business is the ability to negotiate on the platform for the vehicle. It’s a feature that’s bound to attract interest from dealerships because they’re pretty much assured a sale, Johnson said.
“We loved the value proposition that they were signing up dealers directly,” said Richard Sussman, the managing partner for Nordic Eye in the U.S.
This post has been updated to indicate that CarBlip is selling new cars, LA Car Connection is a car broker and Kim Lane is an executive in charge of business development.