This is how we do it – StartFast 2013 company SpinCar.com takes off!
When founders Devin Daly and Michael Quigley approached me to join StartFast with their company Glyphr, frankly I was skeptical. While I did like the really cool demo they showed me of a three dimensional shoe spinning on an iPad, I felt that they had a technology looking for a market. At the time, they were focused on fashion retailing. It was too early to know, but I did have a sense that Devin and Mike would figure out how to make a successful business out of it no matter what. Once admitted to StartFast, they quickly gained some traction with tablet magazine publishers and pivoted in that direction, with a name change to SwipeToSpin. Mike and Devin are quintessential entrepreneurs, winning not only deals with Popular Science and Bloomberg Pursuits, but also a partnership with the publishing platform that looked scalable.
On the basis of that traction and the hard work they put in during the StartFast program, StartFast decided to lead their Seed Preferred financing round, syndicated with other investors a significant cash infusion into the company. Devin and Mike were key to this process, identifying and pitching investors, with StartFast playing a supportive role as the lead investor. The investors were a combination of StartFast limited partners and two New York City angels/venture capitalists. With this funding in place, SwipeToSpin recruited publishing industry luminary Mark Edmiston to serve on its Board of Directors.
Despite concerted efforts, the tablet publishing business was slow to grow. As an experiment, Devin tried selling SwipeToSpin to a car dealer and found that the sale was relatively easy. He told the Board that he wanted to try a few more experiments in that direction. Meanwhile, I organized a meeting for Devin at online show retailer Zappo’s (now part of Amazon.com) at the headquarters in Las Vegas. We also connected with StartFast mentor John Max Miller whose experience in the auto dealer software market is extensive. To make a long story short, car dealers continued to buy while others were only talking. So Devin and Mike made a second pivot to focus on the automotive market, and have changed the name again to SpinCar.com
Shortly thereafter, Stonehenge Capital offered to join the Seed Preferred round, writing a large check, making the total a nicely over-subscribed round. Now fully funded, SpinCar.com moved rapidly to expand direct sales and channels. Their call center in the Syracuse Tech Garden is growing rapidly under the leadership of their VP Sales who relocated from Atlanta to take the opportunity. The company as a whole is currently growing exponentially, with hundreds of dealer locations using their software. There is a healthy partnership between the company and its investors, all of them providing added value.
The future is very bright indeed for SpinCar. Later this week they’ll be in San Francisco for the National Association of Dealers (NADA) conference. Go SpinCar, go!
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