For most, a car is the second largest purchase they will make in their lifetimes, yet 81% hate the car buying process. For those buying a used car, it is often a frustrating and time-consuming experience that leaves them feeling that they paid too much for a car which may turn out to be a “lemon”. Historically, the prospect of buying a new car would elicit feelings of anxiety, stress and uncertainty. So many questions come to mind: Is this the right car for me? Is this a good quality car? Am I getting a good deal? Are there any catches, hidden fees, or fine print? What if I change my mind after a week? In a world where you can buy groceries on Instacart, order food on Uber Eats, and stream movies on Netflix, Clutch is modernizing the car buying experience.
In 2016, my friend and partner, Stephen Seibel, founded Clutch because of the terrible experience he had trying to purchase a car with his wife. Being a passionate car buff from a young age, Stephen believed there was an opportunity to put customers’ interests first and build a company that improved lives by providing consumers with affordable, safe, and reliable transportation. From the beginning, Clutch was founded on the commitment to create an outstanding used car buying experience for Canadians.
Clutch delivers an incredible customer experience including pre-approval for financing; online browsing of a wide selection of used vehicles, all of which have passed a 210-point inspection; free delivery to customers’ homes; and a 10-day, money-back guarantee. We not only want to raise the bar for buying a pre-owned vehicle but also set a new standard for consumer retail more broadly.
In order to expand our service to more Canadians, today we are excited to announce that we have raised $20 million in equity financing led by Caanan and $40 million in debt financing from Upper90. Other investors in the equity financing include Upper90, Stephen Chau (former Head of Product at Uber Eats) and previous investors BrandProject, Real Ventures, FJ Labs, and Global Founders Capital. I am so thrilled to be partnering with Laura Chau from Canaan and welcoming her to our board of directors. We are very much aligned around building a long-term, sustainable business that positively impacts the communities in which we operate.
This capital raise marks an important milestone for the team but also represents the fact that we are just getting started. Today, Clutch is in Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, and will soon be launching in other cities across the country. The core mission of customer-first continues to be foundational in everything we do and we prioritize this ahead of short-term profits. We save consumers money by providing the best value on cars and a range of financing options; we save consumers time by offering online shopping and home-delivery; and we remove the stress by ensuring the quality of our vehicles through our 210-point inspection of every vehicle and our 100% money-back guarantee.
For many of us, it has been a challenging year. Early last year, we were running out of cash, the world was faced with an unprecedented pandemic and we saw sales decline by 80% in April 2020. However, we then saw demand rebound quickly as consumers looked for safer alternatives to Uber, taxis, and public transit and appreciated the online shopping experience and contactless delivery approach that Clutch offered. By June, we were seeing record demand, and growth has continued unabated since then. It has been a rollercoaster ride for the entire team. I feel incredibly fortunate to be working with such talented, caring, resilient, creative, and hardworking individuals. In sports, “being clutch” often refers to players that are able to perform in high-pressure situations. Over the past year, everyone at the company has certainly come in clutch and I am so proud of our team. To everyone at Clutch, thank you for your effort, passion, dedication, and perseverance!