Driverside, a consumer-focused website that aspires to be the one-stop destination for information on cars, has raised its first funding. The investment is for less than $5 million from Catamount Ventures.
Along with RepairPal, another recently-launched competitor, Driverside is aiming for a big win. Realizing that there are few websites that address car ownership — as opposed to buying or selling a vehicle — both sites are making content plays. They aim to supersede the only decent source of free auto information on the web right now, namely enthusiast-driven forums.
We covered both companies when they launched, but have since heard a few more details on Driverside’s model. While RepairPal is working to corner the information market for, you guessed it, repairs, Driverside hopes to quickly build a much larger site, covering every aspect of ownership.
For example, founder Trevor Traina says the company can out-do time-tested Kelly Blue Book valuations on cars by collecting thousands to millions of data points on each model of vehicle. By taking advantage of the data users provide, Driverside could then send out notices when their car had depreciated past a certain point. Notices could also be sent in case of a recall.
Traina has plenty of other plans for the site, including wikis, reviews, community features, and more data on the cars themselves. The team will soon “radically improve” the existing pricing details on parts and accessories, and update its repair costs, which could make it competitive with RepairPal’s more comprehensive repair data.
However, all the work is going to require another round of funding, and soon. This is where it should get interesting to watch Driverside and RepairPal duke it out. Both sites, despite raising relatively large seed investments, are ready to immediately move on to larger rounds; Traina says Driverside will likely settle for between $5 and $10 million, and RepairPal will probably go for something similar.