Investors Buy Into Victoria-based Online Vehicle Marketplace
VICTORIA – A $3.2 million investment is expected to drive VINN Auto to the next level.
Victoria-based VINN announced the seed round led by Novak’s micro-VC colleague Andrew Wilkinson, who cited VINN co-founder and CEO Caleb Bernabe’s “tenacity and lack of a prominent competitor in Canada” was a key aspect of the decision to invest in the company.
As one of the largest online marketplaces in Canada, VINN has over 100,000 vehicles available through 120 dealership partners nationwide. Their mission is to streamline the car buying process, getting customers into the vehicle they want sooner. VINN team members walk customers through every step of the car-buying journey, providing advice on vehicles, dealerships, financing and trade-in options.
Turner Novak, the founder of Twitter gag site Banana Capital has made its largest investment to date in VINN, pointing to their internet-focused strategy.
“They figured out a way to become capital-efficient, almost like a dealer’s sales rep,” Novak told Forbes magazine. “They don’t own any inventory, so they’re able to essentially bid for keywords online that just aren’t as competitive, because they don’t have to sell and move immediately. They’re just trying to find people who are interested in the car.”
VINN’S goal is to reach seven figures in revenue by the end of their fiscal 2021, and with month-over-month growth, the company is experiencing the goal is within reach.
VINN’s technology also searches the web for listings from dealerships who have yet to join the platform, but who will likely do so once they see how successful the marketplace has been in driving customers to their shops, and Bernabe notes: “It’s a new style of customer. It’s much more of a passive sale for the dealership.”
Bernabe and his founding team, Chet Flanagan (COO) and Tom Avant (CTO) aim to use their new funding to develop a peer-to-peer automobile selling alternative that will compete with social and grassroots operations like Facebook and Craigslist.
The company also has plans to expand within Canada and, eventually, into the United States.