Acquisition thoughts: Dealertrack by Cox Automotive

I am not sure how many people were expecting Dealertrack to be acquired by Cox Automotive yesterday. And let me just say – congrats to the Dealertrack team, going from a $10M investment in 2002 to a $4B exit just 13 years later. However, what struck me in this deal was that Cox – ultimately a media and finance company – acquired a CRM/software vendor.

My one insight into this is that they do not see Dealertrack as just a CRM or a finance-department application. They see Dealertrack, with 17,000 dealerships, as the Bloomberg terminal of a trillion-dollar global industry. From that perspective the tie-in is even more interesting. They will be able to offer a full omni-channel experience to the dealers – from when the person first looks at a car to the final delivery of the vehicle.

updated: I accidentally wrote 2012, instead of 2002 for the initial VC funding. Corrected as of 6/16/2015 5:03PM.

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