Unstoppable Business 102 - “Be Like Water” With Alex CruderCurbie News August 14, 2021
Our Co-founder and CEO Alex Cruder sat down with the Unstoppable Business Podcast to talk a little bit about how we started and how we try and continue to change the used cars industry. Here's a snippet of the podcast and the link to the full episode is found below.
"In this episode, we’re talking to the founder of Curbie. Curbie is Canada’s first fully-licensed online car retailer taking the stress and risk out of buying pre-owned vehicles. Forward-thinking CEO Alex Cruder sits down and chat with me about the importance of 'being like water', giving yourself time to reiterate and why having more friends is better than less in this space.
Alright, so Alex, I guess the first thing I want to talk about is the story behind your startup. What was happening when the first idea came out for Curbie?
First off, thanks for having me on the show. It's an honor to be here. Happy to talk with you and it’s always great to tell our story so I’m very excited.
So where we started is back in 2016. I guess that is where the idea came from, my mom was looking for a vehicle and she asked me for my help in buying that vehicle. It had been a while since I’ve purchased, at the time, my only vehicle I’ve ever owned. And I didn’t relish the experience and knowing that I had to, you know, help someone else out and then also go through the process of everything that happens at the dealership. And we knew which vehicle was ideal for her. In this case, she was looking at something that was in the used market and we even found the place that had it but we still have to go through the hurdle of actually getting over there to the dealership, you know, negotiating all the things that we wanted price-wise, any interest rate, like all that stuff. It was just kind of a bit of a hassle.
If you’ve heard about Carvana and there was another company at the time called BP, and Vroom was in the market. They’re all based in the U.S. and I just wondered, you know, could they save my butt, are these guys operating in Canada? So I took a look and they weren’t. They didn’t have any operations here, they’re too small but they were growing pretty quickly. Since no one’s doing this here, like I couldn’t find an alternative in Canada it’d be a good idea to get something started here because I recognize immediately that I’d be a customer of this business. And it made a lot of sense to me to get it going. So I began doing the things that I’m going to be exercising, finding somebody that knew more about vehicles than I did. And that’s where I’ve met my business partner, Brent Gudelot, who happened to be a good friend of my cousin at the time and so there’s a familial connection. When I met up with him he was making money buying and selling Porsches and for me, I had come from the investment world, I’d worked in commercial lending, and then I went into international finance, and then after that, I was managing a bond fund. We never really think about cars as being something you could make money with or an asset that you want to invest in but that’s exactly what he was doing, he was buying these vehicles, holding them for a while, and then selling them for more than he purchased before. And that’s when I realized that ‘Hey I found the guy that knows enough about cars that we can maybe make some magic happen.’ That’s the beginning right there."
Curbie is Canada’s first fully-licensed online car retailer taking the stress and risk out of buying pre-owned vehicles. Forward-thinking CEO Alex Cruder sits down to chat with us about the importance of “being like water”, giving yourself time to reiterate and why having more friends is better than less in this space.