SureSale, which offers a standardized certification-as-a-service platform designed to broaden dealers’ certified pre-owned inventory beyond OEM programs, has closed a $7 million Series A round of funding led by Upfront Ventures.
Upfront Ventures, which has previously provided funding for the likes of TrueCar and Dealertrack, was joined by seed-round leader Coffin Capital and Ventures and other parties.
SureSale was founded by former Autobytel and AutoWeb chief executive Jeffrey Schwartz and Donny Hall, who has held leadership posts at such entities as LowerMyBills.com, HomeLoanCenter.com and LeadPoint.com.
The SureSale Certified platform gives franchised and independent dealers a way to expand the used inventory they certify.
The program includes a Comprehensive Auto Report (CAReport) that shares vehicle history data, mobile vehicle inspections and VIN-specific data like recalls, warranty coverage options and more.
SureSale Certified said it “bridges the gap” between the number of cars eligible for certification under traditional automaker programs — a “small fraction” of quality vehicle population, the company says — and consumer demand for CPO vehicles, which it says is rising.
“SureSale's unique platform, and recognized quality standard, bridges this certification gap by providing auto dealers with expanded opportunities to certify their inventory to increase profitability and meet the needs of the growing population of used car buyers who want to ‘be sure’ about their used vehicle purchase,” said Hall, who is SureSale’s CEO, in a news release.
Hall added: “With SureSales's standardized 'proof-of-quality' and nationwide distribution, CPO buyers can have assurance that their vehicles have been checked, inspected, and protected.
“And this provides benefits to auto dealerships as well: studies show that CPO vehicles turn faster, are considered higher value by consumers and increase customer satisfaction.”
SureSale has been beta-testing with dealerships in select markets. The funding is planned for further expansion in the used market, growing the platform, distribution into dealerships throughout the U.S. and partnership with various auto brands, product providers and indirect lenders.
“The used-vehicle industry is the largest retail segment of the U.S. economy that, surprisingly, still has major untapped potential to create an independent, gold standard brand and maximize value for both dealers and consumers,” Upfront Ventures partner Kobie Fuller said in a news release. “Donny and Jeffrey are veteran entrepreneurs who are bringing unmatched industry expertise and a technology-first approach to disrupt the traditional certified pre-owned category. We are excited to be their partners in this journey, especially as it's happening in LA.”
Both SureSale and Upfront Ventures are based in Southern California.