ATLANTA and LAKE ORION, Mich. — AutoTrader.com, the ultimate automotive marketplace, is taking an equity stake in ControlBox.com LLC in support of the launch of the Privacy Shield™ product, which helps private sellers keep their personal contact information private, yet still connect anonymously to shoppers by telephone and email.
“Ensuring we provide a safe and effective selling experience for our private sellers is paramount to our business, and we believe investing in an innovative technology company like ControlBox demonstrates our commitment to our customers as industry leaders and advocates for a positive online experience,” said Steve Greenfield, vice president at AutoTrader.com.
AutoTrader.com has launched the Privacy Shield™ product which is delivered with ControlBox technology products that put privacy control in the hands of the sellers and provides them with tools to manage their calls and emails, including the ability to selectively block certain individuals from contacting them, as well as providing a record of contacts to help car sellers stay organized throughout the selling process. Each AutoTrader.com private seller using Privacy Shield receives a masked local phone number which eliminates the exposure of their personal contact information on the Internet. Shoppers still connect seamlessly to sellers with the ControlBox telephone system through an interactive voice response system (IVR) and innovative security protocols that detect and block known telemarketers and fraudsters from ever contacting people who are selling their cars on AutoTrader.com. Privacy Shield™ also makes the email address of both parties anonymous, providing secure email communication using ControlBox technology systems aimed at preventing email fraud activity.
“We are proud of our association with AutoTrader.com and know that having the largest automotive marketplace as a shareholder will help accelerate our growth, and more importantly, will allow us to further develop products that improve the experience of AutoTrader.com sellers and shoppers,” said Steven McAuley, CEO of ControlBox. He added, “Together with AutoTrader.com we recognized an opportunity for improvement and then built a state-of-the-art technology solution that not only increases privacy and safety for users, but also enhances the selling experience by utilizing our contact management tools hosted by ControlBox as a Messages Tab™ that resides in the Manage Your Ad center on AutoTrader.com.”
Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com, created in 1997, is the Internet’s ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers. The company also provides a robust suite of software tools for dealers and manufacturers to help them manage and market their vehicle inventory and display advertising on the Internet. AutoTrader.com continues to grow key business metrics, including revenue, profitability and site traffic. Today, AutoTrader.com attracts millions of unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to review descriptions, photos and videos of vehicles for sale; research and compare vehicles; review pricing and specials; and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips and editorial coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. AutoTrader.com operates one other auto marketing brand, AutoTraderClassics.com. AutoTrader.com also owns used vehicle management software company vAuto, Kelley Blue Book (Kbb.com), HomeNet Automotive, a leading provider of online inventory management and merchandising solutions for the automotive retail industry and VinSolutions, a leading provider of end-to-end solution platforms for dealers. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.
ControlBox.com LLC provides telephone and email communication products with extra layers of security as well as powerful conversation management tools that allow consumers to take control of their interactions, whether looking to buy, sell or connect on the Internet.ControlBox.com LLC was started in 2010 by founder and CEO Steven J. McAuley, a veteran auto industry executive who together with a team of technologists built proprietary Secure Messaging™ products to keep the personal contact information of Sellers and Buyer private yet still allow them to connect confidently.
For more information, please visit www.controlbox.com