While car buyers have a variety of digital platforms available to them when it comes to searching for, financing and purchasing vehicles, technology has been slower to catch up for the vehicle wholesale market. Technology solutions provider like ACV Auction hope to change this. The company provides a platform that allows buyers to receive real time notifications of wholesale inventory, and engage in the bidding process in real time, online. The goal is to save buyers from having to scroll through endless listings of vehicles for sale and wasting time at auctions. Buyers can set filters to only receive notifications for vehicles that are relevant to their specific inventory needs.
On Wednesday, of last week, ACV Auction announced it plans to expand its services thanks to new investments. The Buffalo, New York-based company has raised $93 million in Series D funding led by Bain Capital Ventures and early investor Bessemer Venture Partners, as well as Future Fund, Australia’s sovereign wealth fund. The company’s other early investors Tribeca Ventures and Armory Square Ventures also participated in the round. This round comes after the company raised $31 million in funding earlier year, and it brings the company’s total funding to over $145 million.
“Previously, the process would typically involve a truck going around the country, picking up wholesale cars, then bringing them to a huge parking lot to auction them off in person,” according to ACV’s press release. “In all, there are nine million of these auctions going on every year, accounting for nearly half of all the wholesale automotive transactions that occur.”
ACV aims to improve the process by allowing dealers to find the cars they want online. Users of the app can set filters to receive notifications for vehicles that are relevant to their specific inventory needs (and eliminate ones that aren’t) and get real time notifications of wholesale inventory. Dealers can bid in $100 increments, or they can place a proxy bid allowing ACV to automatically bid for them.
The process saves time and money, as dealers no longer need to wait days to sell their cars, and they can sell them through the platform (in a little as 20 minutes) for a lower fee, claims ACV. As part of the app, dealers are required to do a condition report, complete with 25 to 40 pictures taken, including the inside of the car. ACV will even do some of these inspections themselves, helping reducing the risk for the buyer, and potentially saving them hundreds in reconditioning the vehicle after purchase, according to the company.