Monday Mar 10, 2014 by Keith Cline - Founder, VentureFizz
iSeeCars, the Woburn-based used car search platform started by Phong Ly and Vineet Manohar, wants to become, in Ly’s words, the “Kayak.com for car search.”
As he explained, the site “aggregates all used cars together in one place whether it be from car dealers or from websites.”
“We apply big data on top of every single listing so that we can score and rank the best car deals for consumers,” Ly added.
Currently, if you are looking for a new car, you have to scour a ton of different websites. Ly and Manohar tried to find a car online, got frustrated by the process, and then realized that used cars was a market rip for disruption. “For every single car that we came upon,” Ly said, “we had to do all this manual work to figure out if it was a good deal.”
“You end up reading through the description of every car and THEN try to figure out if you are dealing with a reputable seller,” he continued.
“We thought there has to be better way, one way is to aggregate all the cars together in one place…We should be able to automate this analysis.”
So far, they are off to a good start, as Ly said, “We’ve listed 30 million cars in one place, which is about 75% of the market.” He added that they haven’t taken any outside money and are profitable at this point.
Cars on iSeeCars are scored on how fair the price is compared to market value based on a special in-house algorithm.
As Ly explained, “We score all sorts of conditions: whether there was smoking in the car, was it garaged, city driving versus highway miles, etc.”
“We look at all those things and present it to consumer.”
One of the most innovative aspects of iSeeCars is the company’s dealer/seller rating system. As Ly said, “We asked, ‘How do you find out if a dealer is reputable?’” To figure that out, the website looks objectively at every car in that dealers inventory, Ly explained, “How fairly priced are all the cars in that inventory, historically as well as currently, and we can figure out if they are trying to gauge consumer or are they pricing cars reasonably.”
“At the end of the day,” Ly concluded, “We are tying to provide insight to consumers so they can find a good car, at a good price, from a dealer that is fair.”
“We want to take information transparency to the used car world.”