Curbie, a Saskatchewan-based online car shopping startup, plans expansionCurbie News May 13, 2021
by SAMI HAJ-ASSAAD
Car shopping, even without the stress of a pandemic, can be a pretty clumsy process and has been in dire need of disruption. Curbie, a Canadian online car-shopping platform headquartered in Saskatchewan, is one solution that is gaining momentum in the prairies.
The online shopping platform allows users to search through an inventory of vehicles, get a no-haggle price, and get the vehicle delivered to you for a seven-day test drive before purchasing. The service has been getting so much attention that it’s received an additional $7-million in funding to expand the service across the prairies. That’s significant, and the largest round to be raised in Saskatchewan.
The funding is led by Conexus Venture Capital Inc., with participation from SaskWorks Venture Fund Inc. Among the angel investors is Dan Simair, the Co-Founder of SkipTheDishes, who is acting as an advisor to Curbie. Additionally, former SkipTheDishes Principal Engineer Paul Thompson has been tasked as Curbie’s CTO.
Founded in Saskatoon in 2017 by Co-Founders Alex Cruder and Brent Gudelot, the service aims to return time to the shoppers, who, in common car shopping experiences, often have to visit multiple dealerships, haggle with finance departments, or deal with sometimes unreliable back-and-forth conversations with sellers on private marketplace sites.
“The experience felt archaic,” says Curbie CEO Alex Cruder of the traditional method of car shopping. “We’ve seen so many industries disrupted for the better by removing the salesperson and empowering the customer to shop in their own way, on their own time. It makes sense vehicles are the next frontier.”
As a result, Alex and co-founder Brent Gudelot developed Curbie as the first fully-licensed online vehicle retailer. It’s not the only name in town, as other online car-shopping startups like Clutch have been providing steep competition. The extra funding should help Curbie serve more Canadians in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Automakers are also attempting this strategy, with Volvo planning to ditch the traditional sales model for its upcoming EVs, while Genesis Canada has been offering an at-home delivery process for a while too.