Fund Raising and Car Shopping

September 20, 2007

The Evenlevel team set out recently to raise capital so that we can properly grow our business.  To some the need for capital is obvious, to others not so much.  So why do we need more capital?  We’re ambitiously setting out to really change the way the used car industry works.  This blog’s title and the tag-line for our business is “Driving The Revolution”.  We’re talking about literally revolutionizing this industry.  In order to do that, its going to take some money to properly scale our business and to really get it off of the ground.

We want money to:

1. Advertise:  We’re creative folks and have been able to drive a lot of “free” traffic to our site, but there’s something to be said for money to drive paid traffic our way.  We need to get the word out about our great service and let people know what we do and how we do it.

2. Pay for Operational Expenses: We’ve got a great team of founders, which I’m sure would love to get even a meager salary, but more importantly we need to hire some additional sales force to help sell our cars, developers to help create all of the cool products and features we’ve thought of and have in the pipeline, and a web designer or two to put some spit and polish on our site and really make it shine.

 As I mentioned earlier, we’ve just begun to reach out to the venture capital (vc) & angel communities both locally here in Austin and throughout the country, so we’re complete newbies to the process.  All of the founders have worked at venture backed startups in the past, so we’re familiar with how interactions with vc’s work in general but we’re just getting our feet wet with telling the Evenlevel story and creating a compelling investment for an investor.  As we’ve immersed ourselves into this aspect of our business, I ran across a really great video posted on Venture Hacks last week that parallels buying a car and raising money from a vc, Venture Hacks Video.

We know we’re going to be running into a lot of skilled negotiators as we settle on terms with our eventual financing.   The tactics shown in the video are the exact same practices that we’re striving to eliminate with our business.  We pride ourselves on giving as much information as possible about each and every car we have on our site and we always display the actual auction price and our flat fee for every car on the site.  Since our fee is the same for each vehicle on our site, its in our best interest to get our customers into the best used car for them on each and every purchase so that they’re happy and will be repeat customers and send more “free” referral traffic our way.

I’ll keep everyone updated on the financing.  We’ve got a couple of networking functions the next few days that should make for some quality blog reading.

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