Roadster, the Palo Alto-based digital platform that gives dealers tools to sell new and used vehicles online has been acquired for $360 million by retail automotive technology company CDK Global Inc., according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
As part of the all-cash deal, Roadster is now a wholly owned subsidiary. Roadster’s business model has evolved since its founding in 2013. The online sales platform initially hosted dealers’ inventory on its site, but handled the entire sales process with customers. Roadster now works more directly with dealerships by providing its digital retail tools directly to these businesses through its “Express” products.
These digital tools have helped dealerships enter a modern era and serve customers who have become accustomed to completing retail purchases online, particularly in the last year.
“Consumers have shown they are increasingly more willing to purchase big ticket items online, and this trend has quickly accelerated during the pandemic,” said Brian Krzanich, CDK Global’s president and CEO, in a statement. “To meet their expectations, the automotive industry requires integrations of the right technology, data and infrastructure to better connect its online and in-store experiences.”
CDK is known for making the vehicle sales process easier with digital products like Connected Store, a digital quote, loan and payment tool, or Elead CRM, a leads generating software platform. Roadster’s assets will connect CDK to dealer back-end-systems for a more seamless end-to-end sales process.
“Automotive retailing is extremely complex, and the best way to create a truly frictionless, end-to-end buying experience is to fully integrate our technology with the back-end systems that power dealership sales, finance and operations, regardless of provider,” said Andy Moss, Roadster’s founder and CEO, in a statement.