We, Chris Coleman and Nicholas Hinrichsen met at Stanford Business School in 2011. After going on a number of adventures together, including a trip to Vietnam, we had the crazy idea to start an online used car company. We called the company Carlypso and imagined a company like Amazon but for used cars.
Chris: I am a huge car enthusiast. I went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for undergrad, joined McKinsey & Company out of college and worked at McLaren in the UK before graduating from Stanford.
Nicholas: I used to be an avid golfer, playing on Germany's national team for four years. After finishing my master's degree in Germany, I worked at Bain & Company and Merrill Lynch before I moved to the U.S. in 2011.
After graduating from Stanford Business School in 2013, we joined the startup accelerator YCombinator, raised Venture Capital in 2015 and eventually sold the company to Carvana.com in 2017. On Stanford's website, you can even find a case study describing the early days of the company.
We've been with Carvana.com until 2020, which thanks to its obsession to creating exceptional customer experiences is on its way to become the world's largest used car company.
In 2020, we decided to leave and dedicate the next 20 years of our entrepreneurial journeys on making car ownership more affordable.
We got into the car space because we felt that the traditional dealership model was not centered around serving the needs of the customers. Used car sales is a tough business with low margins and a lot of turnover. It has been a humbling experience.
We are excited about where Carvana.com is going and feel grateful to have contributed to changing how used cars are being sold. We don't want to stop there though. Over the years, we have noticed huge unfairness and inequality in the area of auto loans.
Americans with challenged credit scores and thin credit files are incredibly disadvantaged by the system: auto loan rates for countless car owners are north of 20%. These loans trap a group of consumers, who are already marginalized by society, into high monthly payments.
The lack of affordable capital further widens America's wealth gap. Our mission is to address income inequality by refinancing high interest auto loans. The current system does not reward disciplined Americans, who reliably make their car payments.
We envision a future in which car owners pay fair rates on their car loans. We feel honored to be serving you.
Carvana acquires fellow tech disruptor Carlypso
This quarter we continued to invest in technology to enable a seamless e-commerce experience in automotive retail. Notably, we purchased Carlypso, a Silicon Valley automotive disruptor founded by Christopher Coleman and Nicholas Hinrichsen, and integrated their team into our product department in Phoenix. | Carvana Shareholder Letter
Carvana, the Amazon of Used Cars, Just Bought Competitor
Carvana, the online marketplace for buying used vehicles, has acquired a rival startup called Carlypso. [The company] was founded by Chris Coleman and Nicholas Hinrichsen. The pair started the company in 2014 while earning their MBAs at Stanford University. They will stay on at Carvana. | Fortune
Bay Area startup Carlypso to launch in Sacramento
Co-founders Nicholas Hinrichsen and Chris Coleman, who graduated from Stanford last year, say their business concept was forged from their own frustrations trying to sell their own cars, particularly when potential buyers showed up late – or not all – for a test drive. | Sacramento Bee
An Online Tune-Up for the Used-Car Marketplace
Carlypso and Carvana are pushing people to cross another threshold on the way toward a digital-only life. [...] As people grow more accustomed to doing pretty much everything over computers and phones, the Internet tends to consume everything in its path. | New YorkTimes
Carlypso reimagines the way we buy and sell used cars
Carlypso took root when Hinrichsen and Coleman were graduate students at Stanford. They experienced the headache of trying to sell their own cars at the end of the school year. And when fellow classmates asked them to help sell their cars as well they developed the secure Carlypso technology. | San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Carlypso Could Change How We Buy And Sell Used Cars
Hinrichsen and Coleman say they can scale Carlypso’s reach significantly with its existing staff and technology infrastructure. Since the company is not a dealership, Carlypso has no inventory, car lot, or salespeople. Co-founders Nicholas Hinrichsen and Chris Coleman started Carlypso while students at Stanford business school. | TechCrunch