DriverSide Announces Funding and Board of Directors
Catamount Ventures Leads First Round of Funding while Managing Director Mark Silverman and Automotive Veteran Jeff Bell Join Board of Directors
SAN FRANCISCO – July 09, 2008 – DriverSide, the first full service Web site dedicated to saving consumers time and money by making the ownership or lease of an automobile hassle-free, announced today its newest board members Jeff Bell and Mark Silverman. In addition, the company announces its first round of funding led by Catamount Ventures. Catamount’s innovative portfolio includes; Café Press, Second Life (Linden Labs,) Flock, Grid Net, Seventh Generation and Verdiem. Launched in early June 2008, DriverSide brings together in a single Web site every available car and truck-related resource, and makes it convenient, easy and free.
Bell spent 17 years in the automotive industry before joining Microsoft in 2006. He is largely credited for helping to turn around the Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler brands during his tenure at DaimlerChrysler. Bell led the launch of the Dodge “Grab Life by the Horns” and Hemi campaigns, the Chrysler 300, and the Jeep 4-door Wrangler. During his tenure, jeep.com was named the #1 website by J.D. Powers, and Bell’s team was named 2005 Interactive Marketer of the Year by Advertising Age for work in video games and webisodes. Before Chrysler he spent a decade at Ford Motor Company.
“Driverside fulfills a key need in the automotive industry by providing objective information to consumers about products and services,” said Jeff Bell. “This Web 2.0 initiative significantly benefits new and used car dealers, OEMs, and all independent automotive product and service companies by creating better informed and more confident consumers.”
Silverman has spent the past 15 years immersed in advising, founding, building and financing early stage companies. Prior to joining Catamount as Managing Director in 2006, Silverman served as president and CEO of Bocada. Prior to Catamount Ventures, he held senior executive roles in both enterprise software and consumer Internet companies, and was a partner at Venture Law Group in Menlo Park, California. In addition to DriverSide, Silverman currently serves on the boards of Bocada, Ecohaus, Keibi, Gridnet, Nest Naturals and Verdiem.
“It was an easy decision to support a team of successful consumer Internet entrepreneurs that are reaching an underserved market of car and truck owners,” said Mark Silverman, managing director at Catamount Ventures. “Not since drugstore.com, have we seen such a significant opportunity to leverage the Web to simultaneously benefit both the consumer and the companies serving them.”
“We are delighted to welcome both Jeff and Mark to the Board,” said Trevor Traina, Founder and Chairman of the Board. Mark’s strong background in consumer Internet and Jeff’s skills in online automotive will be of immeasurable help to us in our mission to save money and simplify vehicle ownership for the 196 million drivers in the U.S. today.”
The DriverSide board now includes Bell, Silverman, Traina and DriverSide CEO Jad Dunning.
Founded in fall 2007 by Internet Entrepreneurs Trevor Traina, Adam Jackson, and Jad Dunning, DriverSide is the first Web site specifically designed for automobile owners. Funded by Catamount Ventures, DriverSide allows consumers to save money on servicing and maintenance costs as well as buy and sell automobiles. With an in-house editorial staff, DriverSide offers useful advice on how to own and operate a vehicle as well as reviews on new and used automobiles. DriverSide’s community allow consumers to participate in forums, meet other owners of a particular vehicle, share knowledge, and post reviews on mechanics and dealers.
Whether for buying, selling, servicing, maintaining or accessorizing, DriverSide has brought together all the information and resources needed to make automobile ownership an easy and personalized experience. (www.driverside.com)