Jan 16, 2013

Tred Gets $1.7M To Be An Uber For Car Test Drives


Order a Test Drive to your house!

Tred, a startup that allows you to order auto test drives to your home, is announcing a $1.7 million raise of seed funding today, from Fraser McCombs Capital, former Chairman and CEO of General Motors Rick WagonerMaveron Capital, Chris Sacca’s Lowercase CapitalFounder’s Co-OpGreat Oaks Venture Capital and TechStar’s David Cohen.

The startup aims to compete with showrooms and car manufacturers that already allow shoppers to test drive autos outside of the showroom at “ride and drive” events and likens itself to an Uber for test drives, “with a twist of Zappos.” While car manufacturers and dealerships are ultimately biased by brand and sales goals, Tred co-founders Grant Feek and John Wehr argue that Tred is impartial — allowing you to pick from a variety of makes, models and types of cars using its selection and scheduling interface. Tred employs a group of full time and part time delivery people/concierges who will then deliver the car, or multiple cars, of your choosing to your doorstep.

“The car industry hasn’t always jived with third-party innovators,” Feek says. “Fortunately, our investor base is ensuring that Tred works as well for dealers and manufacturers as it does for shoppers. In fact, our automotive partners in the Pacific Northwest inform every aspect of our process.”

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Feek actually has a lot of familiarity with the car dealership and test drive space, having worked in one over summers during high school and college. “Many shoppers (particularly families with kids, car seats and strollers) dread the logistical strains of visiting dealerships, which are often located on the outskirts of metro areas,” he says. “Some of our early shoppers had been ‘in the market’ for months, but had yet to visit a single dealer – until they heard about us.”

Other fun facts about Grant Feek: He has a Harvard MBA, we actually went to school together at USC before this, and he was actually buying a car himself at the time of this interview — and yes, used Tred to do so.

The startup, which is experiencing an 83% sale conversion rate on existing customers, will be using the money to experiment with customer acquisition and demand in addition to developing its mobile app. “We have some indication that the unique nature of our offline+online experience is sticky, and that the test drive presents an exciting content opportunity, but we still have a lot to test (around customer acquisition).

The company, which monetizes by taking a cut of a car’s price if there’s a sale, plans on launching in Seattle in the spring. “We’re laser-focused on delighting families shopping for new cars in Seattle,” says Feek. “We had been planning to mass-produce electric vehicles and commercialize space flight, but someone beat us to it.”


Taken from Tech Crunch, written by,  Alexia Tsotsis

January 15, 2013

Launch Date:2011

Tred redefines the $600B new car market by letting you test drive from your doorstep. We deliver through Tred concierges who are incentivized by customer service reviews rather than sales commission, so shoppers feel no pressure to disengage from a test drive, and can compare finalists side by side in their driveways. We have excellent shopper and dealer traction in Seattle.

This article provided by Showcase Publications, Inc. they  have a 36 year rich history in print and web media and is the parent company to many valued businesses, providing technology, and Web Solutions.  We have best in class print publications and web sites for consumers.  We do cater to consumer needs by allowing them control of their shopping and buying experience.

Showcase specializes in a collection of diversified and comprehensive brands, that provides solutions for buying and selling, autos, trucks, boats, motorcycles, RV’s, and Homes.  Showcase Publications has a suite of products that cater to over 12,000 Independent and/or Corporate dealers.   We have Auto Dealer Blogs, eNewsletters, with more than 20 diversified writers on staff, such as Brand Enthusiast, General Car Buying tips, plus Auto SEO Self Help articles and videos. Every product we offer is low cost and will maximize the Dealer’s potential to sell more cars at a higher gross profit.

Our management team is grounded in a company that has gained consumer confidence through the high and low times of the ever changing economy. With over 200 employees, we expect continued success and growth with the announcement of this new product. Therefore, with the growing audience of Showcase Publications we maintain our strong foundation of satisfied employees and customers.

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