Roadster, a technology startup that creates digital storefronts on dealership websites, has doubled its funding to nearly $30 million.
The investment will propel Roadster's efforts to expand operations and update products to meet the demands of dealership and automaker customers, the Palo Alto, Calif., company said Wednesday.
The $15 million infusion was led by existing investor Costanoa Ventures, which is putting up the money along with other unnamed investors. Costanoa, a Palo Alto, Calif., venture capital firm, had previously put $7.5 million into the company, Roadster CEO Andy Moss told Automotive News.
The funds were raised to help Roadster expand operations. Roadster plans to add to its field and sales teams and enhance marketing efforts. The company now does business in 38 states and doubled its dealership customer count to 320 stores this year. Roadster's dealership clients include Lithia Motors, which ranks No. 4 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., and Longo Toyota, the largest Toyota dealership in the world. Roadster also has been named one of four Lexus certified digital retail partners.
Roadster helps dealerships give customers an integrated and seamless car-buying experience whether they're shopping from their computer, mobile device or in the store.
"Lots of opportunities open up when [dealers] digitize the sales process," said Moss.
Roadster enables car buyers to do most of their transaction through the dealership website. Then when they come to the store, the salesperson can pick up where the customer left off.
Roadster products include:
• Express Storefront, a dealership-branded online storefront and app that automates the sales process from online to in-store.
• Express Marketplace, a platform for dealership groups to maximize regional advertising efforts by driving car buyers to the group's branded microsite to shop for and buy any of the group's inventory.
• Express Trade, a tool through which car buyers can submit information about their trade-in vehicle before visiting the dealership. Using the tool, dealerships can centralize vehicle valuation.