Zag: A different way to buy autos

ZaguseDoesn’t it seem like buying a car is always a hassle? If you’re not skilled in negotiating, you can be assured the auto dealer will take you for as much as possible. Well, a company that was founded in 2005 which is continuing to expand has been attempting to change all of that. Zag, based out of Santa Monica, CA, just received another $13.5M in funding, bringing their total funding to-date to $46M. From the company’s website:

Zag is a technology and services company that operates a robust auto shopping, research and pricing technology that allows users to get the information and up-front pricing they need in order to be in control of the process and get a great deal. Zag works closely with a select nationwide network of premium dealers that have agreed to provide up-front discounted pricing and a no-hassle delivery process. Zag’s participating dealers have made this special arrangement because Zag works only with large affinity groups and national brands. These organizations do the work of promoting and branding this experience, which removes much of the traditional fear factor from the buying process.

Zag allows the customer to complete the whole car buying process entirely online, including everything from vehicle selection to financing and insurance. From a Socaltech interview conducted last year with Zag’s founder/CEO Scott Painter, also the former CEO of CarsDirect:

Is there space in the market for another auto-focused web site?

Scott Painter: There’s always space for an innovator. Rather than operate as an online consumer destination, however, Zag will initially provide its platform as a private-label turnkey solution to auto dealers and affinity buying groups. Zag will introduce into the market new capabilities for consumers, through its dealer partners and its relationships with affinity groups. For consumers, the Zag platform will deliver the best, most hassle-free car-buying experience possible, with transparency in pricing, full-service financing and the ability to complete the entire transaction online. For dealers, Zag will deliver sales, not just leads - resulting in a much more efficient business model.

Zag was featured last year in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Hot 100″ list of fastest growing companies. In its history, the company has received funding from Anthem Ventures, Arcturus Capital, Capital One, GRP, Capricorn Management, and Tech Coast Angels.


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