aNders Ericson is dealing with an overlooked problem in the auto industry, he said, and investors aren’t missing an opportunity to back his solution.
“There is this glaring problem in the market where people with high-risk credit, who are trying to buy a car, go to these specialty dealerships and pay twice the value of the car – and get 25 percent interest on top of that. They are prepared to get their car [repossessed]. Ericsson, founder and CEO of whips.
Whipz is a digital retailer that specializes in affordable, high-mileage vehicles.
“We are focused on simplifying access to financing for people with high-risk credit or a poor credit profile,” Ericson explained, noting that all vehicles are priced at $20,000 or less with more than 100,000 miles — the mileage range used by used car dealerships across Internet do not touch.
All vehicles undergo a rigorous inspection and renewal process; He noted that customers have five days or 250 miles to test drive the car.
click over here To check out Whipz and its inventory.
Ericsson started learning about the auto industry when he joined Dealer-to-dealer auto platform BacklotCars The team returned in 2015 as Vice President of Sales, he recalls. When BacklotCars Walked Out For Historic $425 Million Deal In 2020Ericsson had the knowledge and resources to go ahead and create his own company.
Whipz officially launched earlier this month, with a $1.8 million introductory round already completed. Erickson said he believes it is the largest preliminary round in Kansas City history. The funding round was backed by four venture capital funds – m 25And the KCRise FundAnd the Lancaster Investments And the Nilant – Plus supporters from the BacklotCars community, Ericsson said.
“Our target was $1.5 million, then our underwriting increased,” Ericsson noted. “We actually ended up turning down some money later as well. But we had some late arrivals that we really wanted to get on the cover table, so we brought them in. … We probably wouldn’t have been able to do it without Backlot[Cars] a story.”
Victor Gutwin, founder and managing partner of M25, envisions Whipz to be a bigger company than BacklotCars, he said — adding that Ericson will be able to build on his previous experience.
“It wasn’t so much to find a critical early leader for a large-scale, successful homegrown tech outcome to start over in the same industry with an equally large – or arguably much greater – market opportunity,” Gutwin said. “This kind of vision was fairly rare in the Midwest, but Anders clearly has positioned himself at $426 million and up.”
Ericsson said that some of the other Whipz investors are individuals who have moved on to invest in BacklotCars and didn’t want to miss the opportunity.
click over here Read more about BacklotCars’ $425 million exit and what led to its founders’ success.
He added that having the support of four venture capital funds is essential.
“Because if we need an extension round before [seed] In the funding round, the fund can write a big check for six months or an extra year of money,” Ericsson explained. “A lot of early-stage startups don’t have that luxury. And the other advantage of that is that once we get into Series A, they have a lot of great relationships with the big funds to help close this funding round.”
Taking a page from what Ericsson learned during his time at BacklotCars, he’s focused on hiring a strategic team early on, he said. Among his growing team of 10, the transportation team is made up of individuals who previously worked at BacklotCars.
“Shawn Hampton is our Vice President of Logistics and has already expanded the entire transportation team at BacklotCars,” said Erickson. “…and then Kelly Gray was the team’s senior director of transportation, so we really have a great logistics team. We’ve done a really good job promoting our vision to potential employees and we have a lot of smart people on board — and we know there’s a lot of talent here in Kansas City.” “.
at high speed
The $1.8 million will be used to continue hiring and training employees, as well as perfecting operations, Ericsson said.
“We know that early on, there will be a lot of wrong things we do, and it will change quickly,” he said. “But it will lead us to find the best strategies for our sales process and marketing channels.”
Within three weeks of operation, Ericsson said Whipz had sold a small number of vehicles across multiple states.
“We don’t just sell our cars in Kansas City. Our first car was shipped to Manhattan, Kansas, and then East St. Louis, Branson and Arkansas.” “It shows how far this company has reach.”
Erickson, who grew up in Wisconsin and previously worked in San Francisco, eventually decided to build his company in Kansas City because of its talent and entrepreneurial support system.
“It’s a hidden gem for those outside of Kansas City,” Erickson said. “People are very welcome, and everyone wants you to succeed. It is rare for people to be so loyal.”