A new player is entering the vehicle-listings market, with plans to send no-cost customer leads to dealerships and help car shoppers understand vehicles' resale values.
CarEdge, which formally launched this year, intends to offer consumers data about vehicle depreciation, including rankings and model comparisons, Scott Baker, the company's president, told Automotive News. The site will combine its vehicle research with active listings, and Baker said CarEdge will send customer leads generated from those listings to dealerships for free. Those leads are being distributed beginning this week.
CarEdge grew out of a previous vehicle-research website, UsedFirst.com, started in 2017 by Baker's business partner and CarEdge co-founder, Jeremy Hepler. The pair plan to add more information to CarEdge about cost of ownership, including maintenance, repair and insurance, Baker said.
CarEdge has received capital investment from high-wealth individual investors and has enough funding to sustain a year of operations, Baker said, adding that he hopes the company will break even in the first quarter of 2021. He said the company's main revenue source will be advertising on the website. Baker declined to disclose how much money CarEdge has raised or identify its investors.
The company said Tuesday that it reached 1 million unique visitors as of Aug. 30 — a figure that includes visitors to its predecessor, UsedFirst — and had 4.2 million vehicle listings on its site. Baker said the company works with a third-party vendor to scrape existing listings from franchised and independent dealerships' websites.
Offering leads to dealerships for free is meant to keep the company objective in the information it provides to consumers because dealerships won't be paying CarEdge to list their inventory, he said.
The first lead was submitted Monday to a Land Rover dealership in the Nashville market, Baker said.
The vehicle-listings segment includes companies such as CarGurus, Autotrader and Cars.com.
"We're not suggesting that we're going to overtake CarGurus in the next two years," Baker said, "but we feel like those people that are focused on value shopping, those people that are really focused on getting good values and minimizing their cost of ownership, we're finding that our site's pretty attractive to them."