We are pleased to announce that Origin Ventures has led Utah-based Carketa’s $6M Seed round, with participation from Crosslink Capital, Hack VC, Lancaster, and I2BF.
The investment is our second in auto tech, following our 2018 investment in BacklotCars. When we made that initial investment, we joked in our blog post that “we finally met a used car salesman that we like.” Well now… we’ve found another one!
In some industries, we believe the best companies are founded by individuals with deep domain expertise, and firsthand knowledge of a problem or opportunity. Founder Jason Berry owns his own independent dealerships – a multi-location operation called Action Auto. Jason realized the changes happening in the automotive space and wanted to be ahead of the game, and that is where the foundation of Carketa started. Carketa has helped Action Auto become one of Utah’s fastest growing independent dealerships.
Jason teamed up with his partner Brady Thurgood, Co-Founder/CEO, and Carketa has since expanded to be one of the most robust software solutions on the market. It not only streamlines the backend reconditioning processes for a dealership, but also offers unique merchandising opportunities to help sell more cars online with its Carketa Reports.
The automotive industry is going through a time of unprecedented digital disruption. Even before COVID, consumer demand was shifting – thanks to new direct-to-consumer buying channels offered by Carvana and Tesla. In the used car market, wholesale trading platforms like BacklotCars offered a new way to buy and sell used car inventory across multiple geographic markets – with increased transparency and mobile inspections.
Carketa provides increased transparency for both dealers and consumers alike. Through Tools like Carketa Valuation, dealers have better insights into the value of their inventory, while Carketa Reconditioning helps them move cars through the reconditioning process faster. Faster time to sell equates to more cars sold and more revenue for dealerships.
For consumers, QR Codes are posted on the windshields of cars at a Carketa dealership. As customers browse the lot they can scan the code and receive a detailed history and market value for the car. These features are strongly aligned with trends in the Digital Native Economy, where shoppers prefer self-driven buyer journeys and increased digital touchpoints.
Through all of its offerings, Carketa helps dealerships compete in a market where speed and digital solutions are required for success.
This $6M seed round will allow Carketa to unlock exciting new features that benefit both the car dealership and consumer, as well as expand sales internationally. Origin is excited to help Carketa fulfill its mission of helping automotive dealers optimize every aspect of their dealerships by selling more cars in less time, for more money.