January 29, 2007
Veteran Web Execs Release Auto Community Site – CarGurus.Com
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- An experienced group of web executives recently released the next generation of online automotive communities: http://www.cargurus.com/. CarGurus' founders, board, and investors bring a wealth of experience from such leading web companies as TripAdvisor, eBay, Expedia, and Yahoo.
In beta since March 2006, the newly-released automotive community already boasts over 1,300 user reviews, 3,800 wiki pages, and information on over 6,800 new and used cars from 1960-2007.
With a focus on building the next generation online automotive community, the founders and board of CarGurus bring unparalleled knowledge and experience in building online communities in the areas of autos, travel, and shopping:
* From TripAdvisor: Langley Steinert, Founder and CEO of CarGurus. Steinert was formerly Chairman and co-founder of TripAdvisor, currently the third largest online travel site on the web and the leading online travel community site in the world. * From eBay: Simon Rothman, Investor and Board member. Rothman founded eBay Motors in 1999 and was formerly the Global Vice President and General Manager. Ebay Motors is now the number one automotive marketplace in the world. * From Expedia: Steve Kaufer, Investor and Board Member, currently President and CEO of TripAdvisor, a division of Expedia. Kaufer co- founded TripAdvisor with Steinert in 2000. * From Yahoo: Matt Rightmire, Investor. Rightmire was a founding member of the product development team at Yahoo!, joining the company in 1995. Rightmire left Yahoo! in 2002 as Vice President and General Manager of Media and Entertainment.
Other notables include: David Parker, Board member. Parker was previously Vice President of Business Development at the award-winning Internet search technology company Direct Hit, which was sold to Ask Jeeves. Nick Shanny, Investor, is currently CTO of TripAdvisor and formerly a member of Microsoft's advanced research group.
Unbiased Auto Community Site with "Open Architecture"
"CarGurus is quickly becoming the next generation automotive community site for both new and used autos information," said Langley Steinert, Founder and CEO of CarGurus. "Unlike other leading automotive information sites, CarGurus is built with an 'open architecture,' allowing our users to submit, edit, and control the content on the site. The other leading online auto sites have a 'closed architecture' in which users are not encouraged to submit content beyond simple user reviews. These sites are more editorially driven with proprietary content written by on-staff writers."
CarGurus provides its community with the tools for editing or adding information of their own -- be it writing a review, editing the wiki summary for a given car, submitting a link for a great article out on the web, posting a photo of a car or asking a question of the community. In the end, CarGurus simply facilitates connecting consumers on the hunt for auto information with other consumers "in the know."
"My experience at eBay Motors taught me about the power of online automotive communities," remarked Simon Rothman, Investor and Board Member for CarGurus. "Automotive enthusiasts are a passionate and knowledgeable crowd. What is needed online is a site that provides a more comprehensive set of tools to allow this vocal community to more fully express themselves and exchange useful auto information with one another."
Growing market for Auto Research
Researching a car online is similar to researching online travel and real estate in that the absolute purchase price is a large number and the purchase requires significant research. The web is full of great information and community advice on new and used autos. The problem is that finding all this great information out on the web is a daunting task. CarGurus will be the one place that brings all of that relevant information together into one community.
"Part of the birth of the idea for CarGurus stemmed from my own frustration in researching a new car," remarked Steinert. "Last year, I spent weeks scouring the web to find information on a new car. Over those weeks, I visited over 25 unique web sites and numerous car-specific bulletin boards. I was left wondering why there was not one site out there that could organize all this information into one place -- a community of automotive information."
Online autos information sites are a rapidly growing segment. According to a J.D. Powers' 2006 report, over the past five years, the percentage of buyers who found their vehicle through online means has doubled from 8% in 2002 to 16% in 2006. The ad dollars are following this upward trend. According to a 2006 eMarketer report, in 2007 auto-related advertising spending will account for 15% of all online ad dollars to the tune of $2.7 Billion.
About CarGurus LLC
Located in Harvard Square, Cambridge MA, CarGurus LLC is an online automotive community founded by Langley Steinert, formerly Chairman and co- founder of TripAdvisor LLC. CarGurus' founders, board, and investors bring a wealth of experience from such leading web companies as TripAdvisor, eBay, Expedia, and Yahoo. For more information about CarGurus visit us at http://www.cargurus.com/
CONTACT: Kerry Metzdorf of Plum Advisors, +1-978-463-2575, [email protected], for CarGurus LLC
Web site: http://www.cargurus.com/