A Closer Look Into a Victoria-based Startup, VINN

VINN Automotive is an automotive e-commerce platform that connects buyers and dealerships through, an online platform. It is a platform where buyers can directly search for vehicles and purchase the car right from the dealership. Customers can choose from thousands of cars from different manufacturers at various price points. VINN’s automated platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to make custom recommendations. VINN operates as Canada’s first automotive e-commerce marketplace and has a goal of revolutionizing the automotive retail industry.

The company was founded in 2018 in Victoria, BC, by Caleb Bernabe. Bernabe started his studies at Lifesciences at the University of British Columbia and quickly decided that was not the path he wanted to take. He later went on to become the Director of Marketing and Business Development for an auto dealer. He then saw a massive problem with customer satisfaction in the auto industry and the buying process of vehicles from dealerships. Having a passion for cars and being inspired to transform the automotive industry, Bernabe launched VINN with co-founders Chet Flanagan and Tom Avant.

The Automotive Industry

The business took off during the pandemic as people were less inclined to use public transportation, and buyers began avoiding auto showrooms. As a result, the Canadian

market for used vehicles skyrocketed, and VINN’s customers grew exponentially. After assisting roughly 7,000 customers last year, VINN forecasts its revenue to grow to seven figures in 2021.

VINN is consistently growing and is projecting that at least 20% of auto sales in Canada will be on the VINN platform in the next couple of years. They have recently launched in the United States, particularly in the LA area, and plan to grow its consumer base in the United States.

Current Seed Raise:

VINN has recently closed its seed round the end of Summer 2021. The seed round was led by Turner Nowak, the founder of Banana Capital, and Andrew Wilkinson, the founder of Tiny Capital.

“VINN has a crazy business model: they help consumers buy cars online but hold zero of their own inventory. It’s an online marketplace with a very simple and effective product connecting consumers and cars at local dealerships”.

Nowak Tweeted

Other venture funds that have invested in the start-up include Vancouver-based Yaletown Ventures, Western Universities Technology Innovation Fund (WUTIF), and Conconi Growth Partners. Along with Cindicates, who also invested in VINN’s seed round. Cindicates is Victoria’s VCC Fund that provides early-stage funding to start-ups while creating long-term value for investors, the community, and the planet.

“The CEO, Caleb Bernabe, continues to prove that he is an excellent entrepreneur and is incredibly passionate about the business. We are excited to see what the future holds for Caleb Bernabe, Chet Flanagan, Tom Avant, and the rest of the team at VINN”.

James DeGreef, Managing Partner & President, Cindicates

VINN’s Future Is Looking Bright

VINN’s future is looking bright as they proceed to drive change in the emerging automotive industry. They plan on launching VINN Discovery which will allow users to ask questions via video with a live expert who then offers them personalized vehicle recommendations. VINN has also recently launched a blog that is intended to be a central place for their educational content. They plan to post 40+ articles in the upcoming months and aim to include videos in future blog posts. They have also started a partnership with Youtube influencer, Justin Tse. Justin Tse is a 24-year-old technology, lifestyle, and home content creator from Victoria, British Columbia. He will be featuring VINN on automative reviews on his popular Youtube channel.

VINN is continuing to scale rapidly and building a team that consists of A-plus players. Alongside growing the team, the start-up also has plans to further build out its consumer base in the United States next year and launch a website redesign – to name a few.

A huge congratulations to the VINN team for all their successes.