In 2015, Aaron Krane, at the time an entrepreneur at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, tried to buy a car. He expected the buying experience to mirror a typical online shopping process.
"I'm ready to buy. I know exactly what I want," he said. "These dealers even put their products in great detail on their websites. All these conditions reinforced my assumption that there would be a 'buy' button there."
But there wasn't. So the following year, Krane created Drive Motors, a car-shopping and financing platform for dealership websites.
Krane recognized that although he and his peers had the tech savvy to develop an online car-buying product, as car-buying rookies, they needed automotive expertise to truly understand how to make the product easy, effective and useful for dealerships.
"When I built the operating team, I wanted to see a combination of dealership expertise because I recognized that's what I lacked," he said. "If I was to avoid the mistakes previously made in this vertical by tech companies, I would need to truly align with dealerships."
At this point, Krane considers himself "an enthusiastic student of automotive retail" and a "developing expert in automotive e-commerce."
One of Krane's hires was two-decade auto retail veteran Matt Weinberg, now senior vice president of consumer experience for Drive Motors.
Weinberg worked as an e-commerce director and Internet sales manager at dealerships early in his career. In 2005, he began developing dealership websites for Izmocars and conducted Internet sales training at dealerships. By 2010, he had begun his seven-year tenure at Showroom Logic, working in the marketing e-commerce sector of auto retail. Showroom Logic was acquired by PureCars last year.