This Startup Raised $160 Million For Its ‘Car Vending Machines’
It turns out, investors are impressed with vending machines for cars.
On Wednesday, Phoenix-based Carvana, which debuted such machines last fall, said it has raised $160 million in new funding from unnamed investors. This brings the online used car marketplace’s total funding to $460 million.
Three-year-old Carvana is one of several companies that provide a white-glove approach to buying or selling used cars by making it easy to shop for, finance, purchase, and trade in a car. In addition to a 150-point inspection and 100-day, or 4,189-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, Carvana says that its customers save an average of $1,681 on their purchase.
In November, the company opened a “car vending machine” in Nashville, Tenn. where customers could go pick up their car in person. When they arrive at the five-story building, customers select their name at a kiosk, insert a Carvana-branded coin (a play on the “coin-operated vending machine” concept), and the car they’ve purchased is retrieved from the building.
Carvana also subsidizes up to $200 in airfare for customers outside its vending machine regions.
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The company’s first prototype of it vending machine opened in Atlanta in 2013, and says that pickups at the machines make up roughly half of all purchases in each of those two cities.
Carvana says it had $150 million in revenue in 2015, and expects to make at least $350 million in revenue in 2016. While the company overall is not profitable, it says that several of its markets are.
Of course, Carvana is not the only online used car marketplace, competing with the likes of Beepi, Carlypso, Shift Technologies, and Vroom, among others.
The startup was founded in 2013 by Ernie Garcia, Ryan Keeton, and Ben Huston, and operates in 15 U.S. markets.
The story has been updated to reflect that the Atlanta vending machine was Carvana’s first prototype, and that Ben Huston is the company’s third founder.