TrueCar

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TrueCar
Automotive pricing and information
Industry Technology
Founded 2005
Founder Scott Painter (Founder & Chief Executive Officer)
Headquarters Santa Monica, California
Products Pricing and information for new and used cars
Number of employees
303
Website http://www.truecar.com

TrueCar, Inc. is an automotive pricing and information website for new and used car buyers and dealers. The company gives buyers information on what others have paid for cars, upfront pricing, and a network of TrueCar dealers. TrueCar reports its users have purchased a total of 1.2 million cars from dealers in their network. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California,[1] and its network includes more than 9,000 automobile dealers across the United States.[2][3]

History[edit]

TrueCar was originally incorporated under the name "Zag.com Inc." in Delaware in February 2005. Scott Painter, along with several co-founders, including Tom Taira and Jim Nguyen operated the business primarily as a provider of “white-labeled” auto-buying programs for affinity groups. Within the Zag.com environment, the concepts of price confidence using data and analytics presented in an easy-to-digest form was incubated and launched in a separate company, TrueCar.com. The TrueCar concept involved gathering data from a number of different sources in order to compile updated vehicle prices for consumers in an attempt to enhance Zag.com's services.[4][5] Ultimately, the two entities were combined to form TrueCar, Inc.

In 2010, CNNMoney.com named TrueCar.com one of the “20 best web sites” to help individuals make financial decisions.[6] TrueCar ranked 11th on the L.A. Business (LAB) annual list of the 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Los Angeles,[7] and Inc. Magazine ranked TrueCar on its 2010 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America.[8]

In January 2011, TrueCar released ClearBook.com, a used vehicle index that analyzes the used car market.[9] The website provides consumers with prices based on market data.[9][10]

In August 2011, TrueCar raised $200 million in debt and equity financing, and purchased ALG – a company that provides information on future residual values of vehicles – for an estimated $83 million.[11] TrueCar later hired Larry Dominique, former vice president of product planning at Nissan, to run its ALG business and work with auto manufacturers.[12] Additional 2011 deals included the acquisition of News Corp-backed Honk.com in May[13] and the September purchase of CarPerks, an employee car-buying program operator.

In late 2011, TrueCar launched a television advertising campaign with commercials promoting its services.[14] Shortly thereafter, TrueCar faced backlash from the automotive industry,[15] when several state agencies and regulators notified TrueCar that its practices were noncompliant with some state laws.[16][17] In response to those notices, TrueCar worked with state regulators to overhaul its pricing structure,[14] and moved from a pay-per-sale model to a subscription model for dealers in some states.[18] TrueCar then formed a National Dealer Council[19][20] with 20 members representing 281 franchise dealerships.[19]

In 2013, about 400,000 vehicles were sold from TrueCar and TrueCar Certified Dealers.[citation needed] In the first quarter of 2014, TrueCar had a hand in 3.5% of U.S. new car sales.[21] As of 2014, TrueCar had more than 9,000 dealerships in its network.[3]

In February 2014, TrueCar acquired the domain True.com, using the site for brand expansion and as an umbrella domain name.[22] On May 16, 2014, TrueCar became a publicly traded company and is listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker, NASDAQTRUE.[23]

TIME named TrueCar.com one of the 50 best websites of 2014.[24]

TrueCar successfully completed a secondary offering in November 2014 worth approximately $125 million.[2]

Venture capital investments[edit]

In its 2008 Series A round of venture funding, TrueCar raised $2.8 million from Zag’s original investors.[4][25][26] It received $8.1 million in Series B investments from Capital One and Anthem Venture Partners[27] and TrueCar raised another $35.5 million in 2010.[25]

In September 2011, TrueCar raised $200 million in funding from USAA, GRP Partners, Keating Capital, Silicon Valley Bank and Capricorn Investment Group.[25][28]

Truecar raised $30 million from Vulcan Capital, a firm backed by Paul Allen, in December 2013.[29] As of 2013, the company has raised over $200 million in financing since its founding in 2005.[29]

Partnerships[edit]

TrueCar launched the first all-female racing team in 2012, with support from Penske Media Corporation and Dragon Racing.[30][31] The companies sponsored the women in six racing series, including IndyCar, Mazda MX-5 Cup, Star Mazda, USF2000, World Challenge and Rally America.[31][32] In June 2012, The Virgin Group announced its partnership in support of TrueCar's "Women Empowered" initiative.[30]

TrueCar supports the car buying programs of approximately 576 brands. TrueCar’s Affinity Partners include USAA, Consumer Reports, AAA, American Express, Geico and Farmers.[33][34] TrueCar and Yahoo! formed a partnership in January 2012.[35] Under the deal, internet users searching for vehicles on yahoo.com were directed to TrueCar dealers.[35] The relationship became non-exclusive in July 2012.[35]

Reception[edit]

News outlets, including CNN, Bloomberg, Newsweek, JD Power & Associates, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and U.S. News & World Report, have referenced TrueCar in reports and articles.[9][36][37][38][39][40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Company Overview of TrueCar, Inc.". Bloomberg Businessweek. 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Dorin Levin (November 17, 2014). "TrueCar's stock revs up". Fortune. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Katie Roof (May 16, 2014). "TrueCar Up 20% in IPO". FOXBusiness. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Zag Spins Out TrueCar". SocialTech.com. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Scott Painter, Mark Suster. This Week In Venture Capital #12 With Scott Painter (video). This WeekIn. 
  6. ^ Lisa Gibbs; Joe Light and Ismat Sarah Mangla (19 February 2010). "The 20 Best Money Web Sites". CNNMoney. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Fastest Growing Companies in 2009" (PDF). CBJ Online. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "TrueCar". Inc. 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c Jennifer Saranow Schultz (15 February 2011). "ClearBook: A New Online Tool for Judging a Used Car's Worth". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Shaun Conlin (26 October 2010). "TrueCar Announces ClearBook Used Car Pricing Aggregator". EverGeek. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  11. ^ Sawyers, Arlena (2011). "Painter's Vision: Sales with No Sales Staff". Automotive News. p. 8. 
  12. ^ Christie Schweinsburg (4 October 2011). "Product Planner Dominique Exits Nissan". WardsAuto. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Robin Wauters (3 May 2011). "TrueCar Acquires News Corp-Backed Automotive Social Network Honk.com". TechCrunch. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Tara Siegel Bernard (10 February 2012). "Car Dealers Wince at a Site to End Sales Haggling". New York Times. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "TrueCar Revamps Pricing Curve". F&I and Showroom. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "The TrueCar Challenge". Economist. 2012. p. 59. 
  17. ^ Doron Levin (18 January 2012). "TrueCar Is Running Into Roadblocks". CNNMoney. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "TrueCar Unveils Compliance Strategy". F&I and Showroom. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Ralph Paglia (6 August 2012). "TrueCar: Is It Time for Car Dealers to Reevaluate?". Automotive Digital Marketing. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "TrueCar Launches Dealer Councils". SocialTech.com. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "TrueCar.com shares rise about 11 pct in debut". Reuters. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "TrueCar Buys True.com". Socal Tech. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "TrueCar jumps in its 1st day on the Nasdaq". AP. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  24. ^ Doug Aamoth; Jared Newman (1 August 2014). "50 Best Websites 2014". TIME. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  25. ^ a b c "TrueCar". CrunchBase. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "TrueCar Obtains Series A Financing". Xconomy. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  27. ^ "TrueCar, Inc. Receives Series B Investment From Capitol One and Anthem Venture Partners". PrivCo. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  28. ^ Regina Sinsky (7 September 2011). "Vehicle Pricing Platform TrueCar Goes On a Spending Spree with $200M Funding". VentureBeat. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  29. ^ a b Michael J. de la Merced (December 12, 2013). "TrueCar Raises $30 Million From Paul Allen’s Firm". Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  30. ^ a b "Virgin Group Aligns with TrueCar Racing's IndyCar Program, Women's Initiative". Auto Week. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  31. ^ a b Yvonne Wenger (1 September 2012). "All-women Team Leaves Mark on Grand Prix of Baltimore". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  32. ^ "TrueCar Racing". TrueCar. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  33. ^ "TrueCar: Over 1 Million Cars Sold Through Affinity Auto Buying Programs". insurancenewsnet.com. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  34. ^ "Know What Others Paid Before You Buy". TrueCar. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  35. ^ a b c Jason Stein (5 July 2012). "TrueCar, Yahoo End Exclusive Partnership". Automotive News. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  36. ^ Alan Ohnsman; Makiko Kitamura (1 December 2009). "Hyundai Motors Leads U.S. November Vehicle Sales Gains". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  37. ^ Peter Valdes-Dapena (25 September 2009). "Chrysler: Check Engine Now". CNNMoney. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  38. ^ Linda Stern (30 July 2009). "Is It Still a Good Time to Buy a Car?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  39. ^ Amit Aggarwal (16 September 2009). "Vehix TrueCar Brings Greater Pricing Transparency to the Online Shopper". Online Automotive Review. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  40. ^ Jamie Page Deaton (1 September 2009). "Cars with the Biggest Discounts". US News. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 

External links[edit]