Category Archives: Commerce

Why We’re Giving Beepi the Green Light

Posted by Steve Vassallo
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Why We’re Giving Beepi the Green Light
By Steve Vassallo
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I’m a car guy.
As a kid, I built a trucks out of LEGOs.  Not just any trucks, trucks with articulating suspension and working transfer cases. When I came of age (age 8, that is) my dad gave my little brother and me our first 4-horsepower Lime Limo go-kart from Sears. Since then, my passion for vehicles has only accelerated.But as much as I love cars, there’s one thing I don’t love: the car-buying process.

The emotions we typically feel for our cars – namely, trust and affection – are often the opposite of the emotions evoked by used car lots or transactions on Craigslist. Those experiences tend to be marked by confusion, frustration, and distrust. (And I’ve had some car buying and selling experiences on Craigslist that are not far from a dark alley experience from The Untouchables.)

It’s easy to see why so many consumers gravitate toward the well-worn path of leasing cars every three years. When the clock is up, they’re willing to give up residual value on a lease because buying and selling used cars is such an unpleasant experience.

I’ve often thought, there has to be a better way.

So when my colleague Rodolfo Gonzalez introduced me to his MIT classmate, Ale Resnik, the cofounder of Beepi, I quickly realized, this is it.

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Beepi – the company Ale co-founded and runs today as CEO, has quickly become the leading peer-to-peer marketplace to buy and sell cars online.

Contrary to everything we take for granted about buying a pre-owned car, Beepi has made the process more than convenient and fun – it’s now one built on trust and transparency. Beepi’s inspections are performed by experts who catch issues even the most astute gearhead might miss!

We’ve tracked Beepi closely ever since Ale arrived in Silicon Valley a year ago. And we’re thrilled to lead their $60 million series B round.

Research shows that consumers already do the bulk of their car buying due diligence online, and one in five say that a test drive isn’t important. More and more people want to buy cars the way they buy books – online, with zero hassle. That’s exactly what Beepi makes possible.

You don’t have to be a car guy or gal to see the value that Beepi unlocks for people on both sides of the transaction. In offering a safe, simple, and fast end-to-end experience, Ale and his team have created a marketplace that levels the maze erected by dealerships and Craigslist.

Today’s funding announcement is the beginning of a new era for car buyers and sellers, and we’re thrilled to be along for the ride.

Celebrating Chegg

Posted by Paul Holland

When I was first introduced to Chegg  several years ago, the company’s original concept was to be a Craigslist for college students. But soon after launching, the founders discovered that what people needed more than anything else were used textbooks.

At the time, it was far from certain that a business could be built around distributing used textbooks.  After all, most people felt that need was being adequately met in the dusty backrooms of college-town bookstores. However, standing here today at the New York Stock Exchange celebrating the company’s IPO, I can say that we have once again seen the success of an approach that involves more than simply funding a company and hoping for the best.  In the course (pun intended) of working with Chegg for the past several years, we began to see striking parallels between Chegg and other iconic companies that had found success.

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