Chicago Tech Innovator: Cars.com

January 24, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Founded by the Tribune Co., Cars.com’s website and mobile applications allow dealerships and individuals to list vehicles for sale, and allow buyers to browse listings and reviews for new and used vehicles around the country.

TINC: What growth phase is your company in currently?

Series C and Beyond (mature company with working capital, pre-IPO, post-startup)

TINC: Give us your Elevator Pitch.  

With car reviews and shopping advice from our in-house experts, consumer reviews, finance calculators, mobile apps and thousands of vehicle listings, Cars.com helps car shoppers confidently find what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a new or used car.

TINC: To quote your website, “Visited by more than 10 million car shoppers each month, Cars.com is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible and easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car.” Can you tell our readers more about the process and reach of your company and the service you provide?   

Cars.com reaches car buyers across the U.S. to help them find the car they want to buy at a dealership or a private party near their home.  Car buyers can not only search through thousands of new and used vehicle listings, but also read editorial reviews of all new vehicles on the market, find tips for buying a new car, read consumer vehicle & dealership reviews, use finance calculators to figure out what they can afford, sell their old car and more.  Cars.com also allows buyers to shop however is most convenient to them.  In addition to their online site, Cars.com also has a mobile site and apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Cars.com also helps U.S. dealers and private parties sell their vehicles by listing them on Cars.com and exposing their inventory to this audience of millions.

TINC: What industry would you most closely align your company with? 

Automotive

TINC: How is your product different from the other guys? What makes your company unique to the scene? 

From the very start, we wanted to provide a very functional app that in-market car buyers could use whenever and wherever they need information for the car buying process.  Over 2,000,000 vehicle listings (used and new), used car values and editorial reviews make our app useful whether the user is at the dealer’s lot or using some of their spare time to research vehicles.

TINC: How many employees do you have on board right now?

500+

TINC: Who are the founders and CEO’s of your company?  

The Tribune Co. founded our company and our current CEO is Dan Jauernig.

TINC: When was your company established? What is the official founding date?  

Inception date = 8/14/1997, incorporation date = 4/20/2001

TINC: Tell us about development platforms you may be using, or what you’re coding this in.  

We do all iOS development in the native Apple Xcode development environment. Our belief is that the closer our employees are to the actual crafting of the feature, the better the product we deliver to our customers; we don’t allow technical limitations to get in the way of delivering the product our users want.

TINC: What is your technical approach that makes your software better? How are you getting the details right or working in a more optimized way?  

As a company, we’ve focused dedicated Product, User Experience, Development, and QA employees on each of our product lines. This allows the team to run quickly, independently, and iteratively in generating ideas, prototypes, and product features. We consistently present each of these to users in order to consistently gather feedback and validate assumptions. The freedom for the developers to work on delivering features quickly and iteratively allows us to maintain a consistent scrum-based rhythm and a focus on delivering in a quality product on a consistent cadence.

 

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