Carsnip takes aim at online car-buying market with search engine

CarsnipBritish startup Carsnip may be quite late to the market for purchasing cars online, but they have nonetheless unveiled a search engine that warrants a look as you go to find the perfect ride.

Upon visiting Carsnip’s site, what is immediately striking is that you begin by submitting a search quest for whatever you are seeking, whether it includes a particular brand, model, or even feature (such as leather seats). This brings up listings that can be arranged by price or relevance and filtered down by make/model, year, price, mileage, location, body style, fuel, and color.

In terms of monetization, Carsnip has opted to allow dealers to list the car for free, choosing instead to allow dealers to advertise on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis, as well as offering an analytics service that helps dealers to find an ideal price for listing their auto.

In terms of funding, the startup recently announced that they have pulled in more than $1 million from a group of British and American angels who have previously backed companies like Pinterest, Square, and Wave. Having secured this funding, the startup declared that they are on pace to raise $5 million in further investment. With the backing, Carsnhip intends to continue to improve its search-engine, establish a presence in the United Kingdom, and run a pilot-program in 2 U.S. states.

Carsnips has declined to reveal how many users their service currently has, but reports that they index over 500K per day cars from all over the U.K. and, like many startups, they are thinking expansion, with plans to move into 20 European countries before they enter the American market. It is worth noting that they have been in beta since last year, getting things ready before they formally launch in May 2016, in partnership with a few undisclosed High Street brands.

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