Andy Park says he sees value in staying independent as a digital retailing provider.
CarNow, the Atlanta company of which Park is CEO, in June raised $30 million in funding from investment firm Battery Ventures. That follows a $10 million fundraising round in 2019, led by Battery Ventures, Park said.
As of last week, CarNow — which specializes in digital retailing and conversational messaging tools and works with about 4,700 dealerships, most of them U.S. franchised stores — has raised about $55 million since its December 2014 launch, according to Park. And the company plans to launch a product this fall, in testing phases now, that offers dealerships a real-time, end-to-end workflow linking together all of its existing tools.
"Every time a customer takes an action, they see it as it's happening," Park told me last week.
"We're calling it real-time retail. It's not just digital retail," he added.
The digital retailing space has been a busy one. I wrote last month about a number of acquisitions, partnerships and other developments by companies looking to strengthen their product lineups or compete in areas in which they hadn't before. The moves largely have been prompted by the pandemic and the acceleration around auto e-commerce that happened as a result. Dealership management system giants CDK Global Inc. and Reynolds and Reynolds Co. each purchased a digital retailing provider in June: CDK bought Roadster for $360 million, while Reynolds bought Gubagoo for an undisclosed price.
Park, meanwhile, said being acquired isn't the path forward for CarNow right now.
"We have a lot of work to do, and a lot of runway for us to grow, and I think that becoming a part of a larger organization will more likely hinder that growth, rather than accelerate it," he said.
"We as a team are very excited about the opportunity that we have ahead of us."