MENLO PARK, Calif., May 27, 2008 – OPENLANE, Inc., the leading online auction company in North America for automotive dealers to buy and sell wholesale vehicles, today announced the Company has closed a $25 million funding round led by Meritech Capital Partners. Also participating in the round were existing investors August Capital, RPM Ventures, and Zilkha Venture Partners. The funds will be used to help the Company scale in line with rising demand for its online wholesale auction, while continuing to maintain high levels of customer service and product innovation.
OPENLANE sold over 270,000 vehicles online in 2007, valued at over $4 billion and generating in excess of $60 million in revenues. This represented revenue growth of approximately 60 percent compared to the prior year. The Company experienced continued strong growth in the first quarter of 2008. Revenues for the first quarter of 2008 were approximately 65 percent higher than the first quarter of 2007.
“OPENLANE is the last remaining of the many Internet companies established years ago to pursue the wholesale automotive market, a sector that continues to present a very sizable opportunity. The company has grown by evolving its offering and merging with others and today it is the leading online independent wholesale auto auctioneer,” said Paul Madera, managing director, Meritech Capital Partners. “Their business makes sense on every level—they offer convenience, lower cost of transactions and ease of use to their customers, the buyers and sellers of wholesale used vehicles. We believe this is a unique Internet business-to-business success story poised for continued growth in a very large market.” A well-known late-stage investor, Meritech has backed numerous leading private technology companies including Facebook, Netezza, NetSuite, Riverbed and Salesforce.com.
“We chose to raise a strategic round of funding to pursue important initiatives and continue to nurture our position as an industry leader,” said Roger Butterwick, president and CEO of OPENLANE. “Our business model, coupled with a historically strong used vehicle category, affords us a great opportunity to provide innovative market-driven services during challenging macro-economic climates.”
Since launching in 1999, OPENLANE has been a pioneer in online auctions for the wholesale used car market, and the Company’s online wholesale auctions are the destination of choice for more than 35,000 dealers in the US and Canada. The Company recently changed its name to OPENLANE to better reflect its vision — to provide dealers and sellers with the freedom to select from a broad inventory of vehicles and support services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.