by Andy Fixmer
Even in the Internet age, selling your car is a hassle. You have research what it’s possibly worth, post pictures and then schedule meetings with strangers for test drives and haggling.
Shift, a Silicon Valley startup that announced Tuesday it raised $23.8 million in funding, wants to change all that.
The company’s app lets users list their cars and sends a so-called “car enthusiast” to their homes to detail the vehicle, take professional photos and estimate its market value.
Once your vehicle is listed, the enthusiast schedules test drives and brings the car to prospective buyers for you. They can even help buyers arrange financing, if needed.
And after a buyer and seller agree to terms, Shift handles all of the transfer paperwork with the DMV.
Shift says its car enthusiasts are paid on customer service, not commission, to incentive them to find the right car at the best price
Shift says its car enthusiasts are paid on customer service, not commission, to incentive them to find the right car at the best price.
Shift’s founding team includes George Arison, who also founded Uber competitor Taxi Magic; Christian Ohler, an engineer who worked on Google Wave and Dropbox’s APIs; and Minnie Ingersoll who led the development of Google Fiber.
In the last year the company has been in an invite-only stage while building up its operations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where it’s based.
However, the company’s model attracted early-stage funding from big venture firms DFJ and Highland Capital Partners as well as from Google Maps co-creator Lars Rasmussen, Square founder Jim McKelvey and Shazam founder Chris Barton, among others.
DFJ’s Emily Melton and Highland Capital’s Manish Patel are joining Shift’s board, according to the company.
“We believe Shift can reinvent the sector by delivering premium experiences,” Melton said in a statement. “Businesses predicated on transparency and trust between sellers and consumer buyers can create enormous opportunities and more efficient marketplaces.”