🦄 Unicorner Startup of the Week: Modal
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Digitizing car sales
Modal (previously Drive Motors) simplifies the process of purchasing a vehicle for consumers and helps automotive companies sell with ease. It decreases the time it takes for transactions to complete, provides a clean user interface, and includes multiple products for all parts of car-buying. These include Checkout, which goes through sales step-by-step, Shop, which provides a showroom experience, and Trade, which generates offers quickly. They also advertise a quick installation process.
🔗 Check them out: www.modalup.com
💰 Business Model
Modal operates on a B2B/SaaS model. It works with automotive brands to incorporate its software on their webpages, enabling them to make digital sales (the name “modal” is a term used in web development and reflects how their platform is meant to be integrated with existing sites). Brands pay an annual or monthly fee to access their platform.
📈 Traction and Fundraising
  • Most recently raised $15 million Series A on December 8, 2020, led by American Honda Finance Co. (Honda)
  • Powers sales for Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and other notable automotive companies
  • Took part in Y Combinator W16 batch
  • Backed by Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal and Palantir), Khosla Ventures, and more
👫 Founder(s)
  • Aaron Krane, CEO: Previously founder and CEO of Hitpost, which was acquired by Yahoo, English BA @ UCLA
🔮 Our Analysis
For a long time, purchasing a car has involved visiting a dealership and sitting down with a salesperson. The process could take hours due to lengthy paperwork. Modal renders this all outdated as it modernizes the car-buying experience. We believe Modal is making a big impact and has a lot of room to grow. Todd Somerville, Modal’s VP of Strategic Relationships, gave us some insight on the company’s future plans: “With our commerce, design, and technology expertise, we’re not just modernizing auto retail, we’re redefining auto ownership. Our long-term vision is to transform the entire auto ownership experience.”
📚 Further Reading
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🎁 Bonus Content!
Forbes recently published a list of 25 machine learning startups to watch in 2021. You can check it out on their website here.
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