Edmunds.com Santa Monica office space

Edmunds.com Santa Monica office space

This story has been corrected to reflect that CarCode is a SMS platform, not an app.

Not wanting to be stuck in the slow lane of Internet publishing, car shopping information website Edmunds.com announced its second class of Fastlane accelerator companies Tuesday.

Edmunds, based in Santa Monica, uses its annual three-month summer accelerator program to develop new online car-selling companies, companies it might eventually buy up. Once companies are part of the program, Edmunds provides mentorship, optional office space and resources to participating companies, but takes no equity stake and provides no cash.

Companies participating this year include fiSpeed.com, a Web-based platform for automating the financing and insuring of car; ZipFlip.com, an online peer-to-peer marketplace for used cars; MyCarBuyingSecrets.com, a subscription website that guides buyers through the car purchasing process; Credit Concierge, a credit reporting site; MyAutoCloud.com, a car defect management software suite; and Leasify, an app that helps car buyers calculate lease payments and compare quotes.

Last year’s accelerator graduating class included CarCode, a SMS platform that allows car buyers to communicate anonymously with car dealers, that was purchased by Edmunds for an undisclosed amount in October.

“We didn't expect to acquire CarCode when it came through Fastlane, but the solution bowled us over,” said Chief Executive Avi Steinlauf in an email interview. “With that said, our ideal result is to get each company to a place where they bring more value to the marketplace than they did before entering Fastlane.”

Edmunds, which got its start in 1995, was an early mover in the car buying information industry, but now competes with a litany of car buying information websites, such as Santa Monica’s TrueCar, a website that uses algorithms to provide more exact price ranges for cars. The company sees the accelerator program as a way to stay abreast of a rapidly changing industry.

Technology reporter Garrett Reim can be reached at greim@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @garrettreim for the latest in L.A. tech news.

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