Carsnip, the intelligent car search engine, has raised a guaranteed $1m in investment ahead of its imminent launch with well-known UK High Street brands.
The search platform, which challenges existing ‘classified ad-style’ online car sites by cutting out the middlemen costing drivers and dealers thousands each year, is now on track to raise $5m in further investment after initial rounds of funding secured over $1m from a number of US and UK tech angel investors.
The investors behind Carsnip have previously backed the likes of Pinterest, Square and Wavii. They include:
- Adrian Aoun (Head of special projects, Google/Alphabet).
- Alastair Crawford (Founder, i-CD Publishing)
- Charles Songhurst (Former general manager of corporate strategy, Microsoft)
- Fritz Lanman (Cofounder and executive chairman, Doppler Labs and DWNLD)
- Hank Vigil (Senior vice president of strategy and partnerships, Microsoft)
- Tim Jackson (Founder, QXL).
Alastair Campbell, Carsnip CEO, said: “We’re extremely pleased to welcome our new investors onboard. Their support enables us to continue building out our unique car crawl, natural language search and power our online marketplaces in time for a full launch in May.
“Many industries have already gone through their intelligent search revolution, combining big data and machine learning to optimise user experience (UX). The car industry is next.”
The $1m secured during initial funding rounds enabled Carsnip to index over 500k UK cars and build the first version of its natural language search.
The next round of investment, expected to total a further $5m, will enable Carsnip to:
- Build out tools to better connect consumers with car dealers
- Improve its natural search so anyone can find the car they want – not just a car expert
- Index 20 new European countries.
It will also go towards comprehensive UX testing, growing its dealer customer base in the UK and running a pilot across two U.S. States.
The intelligent search platform improves the car buying and selling user experience for everyone through a combination of intelligent crawling to index all cars, powerful ‘natural language’ search and machine learning tools.
Stuart Noad, Carsnip co-founder, said: “Our research shows that middlemen take as many as 4 billion car buyer clicks away from dealers’ websites every year and cost consumers and sellers, on average, £1,200 per car.
“Carsnip has been built to re-establish the lost connection between buyers and sellers to deliver an awesome user experience. Our long-term vision is to drive down the cost of motoring and this second round of funding helps us get ever closer to that goal.”
The latest Carsnip funding announcement comes ahead of its first mainstream launch this spring, partnering with a number of well-known UK High Street brands to power new personalised, used-car buying and selling marketplaces.
Initial tests of its first two ‘white label’ markets will use the Carsnip platform as a value-added service to their existing customers, after its full launch at the dealer conference CDX at Silverstone on May 24th.
Carsnip CEO, Alastair Campbell, has been the driving force behind many disruptive online businesses.
Tim Jackson, Founder of QXL and investor in the project, said: “Alastair is a stellar CEO who’s already built a terrific business in Company Check. This is an even bigger market and I’m really excited to be backing him in transforming it.”