The State of Automotive Startups

There's been over 1 billion invested in automotive related startups in the past couple years. Here is a quick overview of the auto startup ecosystem.

The State of Automotive Startups - 2016

Large players in the Silicon Valley are working hard to push a vision of no vehicle ownership (and it’s no accident that the vision supports their business models), but the data and American car culture point to a different likelihood. With the advent of self driving cars, there will be significant changes in how people and businesses think about car ownership and how people get around, but it will be a future that highlights car ownership, not eliminate it.

Despite the hype around car ownership disappearing, it seems that Venture Capitalists are not believing it. In the last 4 years, they’ve invested over $1.2B in automotive related startups (not including companies that already went IPO).

Here’s a breakdown of the all the automotive startups.

Buy & Sell Cars

Online Dealerships: Tesla, Carvana, Vroom, Beepi, Shift

Though some of them vary in their business approach (Tesla is a manufacturer with their own retail locations), all of these players are trying to shake up the dealership world. By making it easier to buy cars online or directly from their own retail locations, these companies are trying to eliminate the traditional in-person dealership experience.

Private Party: Instamotor

Instamotor is a marketplace for private party used car buyers and sellers to transact securely. Instamotor screens each vehicle that is listed, provides vehicle history reports, verifies identities and actively monitors the marketplace to prevent fraud. Instamotor is also completely free for both buyers and sellers.

Auto Financing

Peer-to-Peer: Lending Club

Lending Club is an established peer-to-peer lending platform. They use unique methods to determine credit worthiness and provide loans in situations where they may not otherwise be available.

Auto Lending Platforms: AutoFi, CreditIQ

Lending platforms are leading the charge into automotive lending by plugging in large banks and lending institutions onto their platform. This makes it easy for automotive startups to access one API for all of the available financing options.

Car Maintenance

On Demand Maintenance & Repair: YourMechanic, Wrench

These startups allow you to schedule a mechanic to come to your home/office/anywhere to do maintenance or light repairs on your car. Often times it’s less expensive than going to a traditional auto workshop and much more convenient.

Roadside & Emergency Services: Honk, Urgently

Honk and Urgently provide road side services at the touch of a button and on demand. If you have a flat tire, ran out of gas or lock yourself out of your car, these start-ups are here to help.

Repair Shop Comparison: RepairPal

RepairPal helps auto owners find repair shops in their area and give price comparison on costs of maintenance and repairs.

Auto Insurance

Pay per use: MetroMile

MetroMile is the major player in pay-per-use insurance. In this model, you only pay for the insurance when you’re actually using the car. Though you pay more on a per-mile basis, this model can work well for auto owners that drive infrequently.

Comparison Tools: CoverHound, The Zebra, Insurify

These startups are comparison engines for insurance. They allow consumers to quickly find the best insurance option across multiple providers and easily compare price points.

Buying Tips
Financing
Valentin GuiValentin Gui

Founder and a car nut. Born and raised from Detroit, Michigan. Val managed 12 dealerships prior to founding Instamotor.

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