Shift, an online secondhand car marketplace that lets potential buyers arrange test drives direct to their home, has raised $38 million in a series C round of funding led by BMW’s venture capital (VC) arm, iVentures, with participation from DFJ, Highland Capital, DCM Ventures, G2VP, and Goldman Sachs Investment Partners.
Founded out of San Francisco in 2013, Shift operates out of three main locations, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles (all of the Valley and Orange County), and San Diego. Anyone living in those regions can buy or sell cars, but those located elsewhere across the U.S. can still buy pre-owned cars through the platform for delivery, albeit this represents a small part of the company’s business.
Through the platform, sellers are given the real market value of their vehicle in less than two minutes, with Shift taking care of all the listings, test drives, and paperwork — it essentially manages the laborious administration while promising sellers the “best private party” price. Buyers, on the other hand, are promised that each vehicle has passed a 200-point inspection, and again they don’t have to worry about paperwork, while Shift can also arrange financing.
Prior to now, Shift had raised around $74 million in funding, and with its latest cash influx the company said it plans to continue growing its team, investing in its technology, and entering new markets.
BMW iVentures was founded in 2011, and it recently upped sticks from its New York HQ and moved to Silicon Valley in search for startups. Christian Noske, a partner at BMW iVentures, will be joining Shift’s board of directors as a result of its investment.
“We are interested in technology companies that challenge the status quo and build products that help improve transportation options for consumers,” said Noske. “Buying a car is one of the most expensive purchases most people ever make, and we appreciate that Shift is committed to making this experience not just good, but great. It is obvious that with Shift’s proprietary technology, world-class team of engineers, and forward-thinking workforce, the company is set to become a leader in the used car market.”
The used car industry has been ripe for investment in recent times, with the likes of Carvana recently raising $160 million to build quirky coin-op car vending machines and help people buy cars online. New York-based Vroom also raised $50 million in September followed by $76 million last week, taking its total to nearly $300 million in 3 years. And a few months back Germany-based Auto1 Group raised a whopping $400 million at a valuation of $2.8 billion.
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