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GTI Labs’ graduate Car-Fin, an online car broker service, secures $400K from Prostor Capital and Moscow Seed Fund

February 12, 2013 - Moscow. Graduate of GTI Labs business accelerator, a Russian online car broker service Car-Fin, has announced a $400K funding by Prostor Capital venture fund and Moscow Seed Fund.

Car-Fin is an automated online service that allows its customers to compare car offers and select a car based on the cost of ownership, as well as compare banks and leasing companies’ offers for the selected car, including dealership and insurance company selection, and make a purchase on credit online.

Car-Fin’s business model is based on effective partnership with car dealerships, banks and insurance companies, as well as integration with the existing online car portals. The users of these portals get the benefit of making time and cost-effective car purchase online, while the portals themselves receive an effective tool for monetizing on the traffic and increasing customers’ loyalty.

«Our goal is to make Car-Fin a go-to-service which simplifies the process of car selection and purchase on loan online for any category of users. By saving time, money and effort the chances that the customer will make a positive buying decision increase many-fold, which in turn will have an overall positive impact on the car sales industry», explained Car-Fin Co-Founder and Commercial Director, Grigory Petrov.

Presently on the Russian internet market there are no similar services with such a wide range of car offers. Apart from the listed options Car-Fin offers quite a unique service for the Russian market – buyback car loans, i.e. when selling a new car the dealership undertakes to buy the car back on fixed price when the loan period is due. This allows the customers to reduce loan payments. Around 60% of cars in Europe and 80% in the USA are bought through such buy-back programs.

Car-Fin launched its beta version in October 2012. In order to secure funding the startup had to achieve specific goals and milestones set within a three-month acceleration program, GTI Labs, launched by Global TechInnovations consultancy in partnership with Prostor Capital.

The startup’s potential and results achieved in the accelerator were highly assessed by the investment partners. “We really liked Car-Fin’s business-model and the team,” said Alexey Solovyev, the Managing Director at Prostor Capital. “GTI Labs business accelerator allowed us to see the development of the startup and be more flexible in terms of funding – investing at an early stage when the business model has not been validated by the reality, whereas typically we would invest at A round and later with the average funding of $1.5 million. We hope that our financial and expert support will help the team develop a valuable and useful resource.”

 

“GTI Labs accelerator in partnership with Prostor Capital and Moscow Seed Fund has demonstrated a successful model of collaboration between a private consultancy, a private venture fund and a state fund. Car-Fin raised more than just financing, they secured “smart money” which greatly increases the chances to secure financing at later stages when the company grows,” said Artour Baganov, CEO at Global TechInnovations.

 

Alexey Kostrov, the Managing Director of Moscow Seed Fund tells: “This is the first deal in 2013 and the first one with Prostor Capital. We are very positive about Car-Fin’s success.”

 

To date Car-Fin has secured contracts with several banks, leasing companies and dealerships, and has integrated modules with a partnering web site www.avtobizon.ru.

In 2013 the startup plans to develop the product further and start scaling to all regions of the Russian Federation, and to grow partnership base (at least six dealerships, ten banks and leasing companies, ten auto websites, and at least one insurance company). The funds raised will be allocated accordingly to meet these goals.

 

About Car-Fin

Car-Fin is an online service that allows its customers to make online comparison and purchase of cars based on the cost of ownership and loan terms, including buy-back programs, and leasing terms, plus select insurance company. The service works as a module integrated in partner auto websites, e.g. avtobizon

 

The company is founded on February 1, 2012. Car-Fin has attracted Microsoft Seed Fund grant of $50 000 at the end of 2012. Car-Fin is a graduate of GTI Labs accelerator run by Global TechInnovations consulting company.

 

About Prostor Capital

Prostor Capital investment fund was incorporated in 2011 by a group of Russian private investors to invest capital in growth IT companies on the Russian and international markets. The fund capitalization is USD 20 mln.

 

The goal is to enable the portfolio companies to take leadership in their market segment and create businesses that would be attractive to both Russian and Western strategic investors and private equity funds specialising in later growth stages such as expansion stage and pre-IPO. Portfolio companies include: Dnevnik.ru, Dulton Media, Umisoft (UMI.ru), Infratel Inc., VitaPortal and software developer for healthcare industry.

More about the company: http://prostor-capital.ru 

 

About Moscow Seed Fund


Moscow Seed Fund was established by the Government of Moscow to co-invest with private investors into Moscow-based technology startups.

More about the company: http://www.mosinnov.ru/

 

About Global TechInnovations


Global TechInnovations (GTI) – an early stage startup investment and business consultancy, acceleration program and seed-stage investor. Among the clients are Car-Fin ($400 000 investment by Prostor Capital venture fund and Moscow Seed Fund), ClipClock ($2.5 million investment by Runa Capital venture fund), Strana.Trave l ($3 million investment by SberInvest venture fund).

More about the company: http://globaltechin.com/

 

O GTI Labs

GTI Labs is a business accelerator in partnership with select venture funds that enables early-stage tech startups to grow into mature investible businesses. The program provides initial seed funding and an opportunity for follow-on investment as a result of three-month acceleration. Within the program startups test the business-model and develop the product with the help of technology and business mentors, who are industry gurus, top caliber experts, founders and executive managers from the leading IT companies such as Paralles, Mail.ru, DeutscheBank, Groupon, Google, Intel, Microsoft, InMobi among others. 

For more details: http://globaltechin.com/labs/



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