AutoLeadStar revs up with $40M funding round, strengthening ties between Israel and Miami
By Riley Kaminer
The ties between the Israeli and South Florida tech ecosystems continue to strengthen. And the startups that form the core of this relationship are growing rapidly.
Miami and Jerusalem based AutoLeadStar is just the latest case in point. Today, the marketing and customer data startup for auto dealerships announced that it has raised a $40 million growth round. Riverwood Capital, a Silicon Valley tech investor with a major presence in Miami, led the round, which also included participation from existing investors.
The startup has developed a platform to help the automotive retail industry better leverage data insights to sell more cars with less cost. AutoLeadStar offers a wide range of marketing features, including social digital marketing automations, smart email marketing tools, and CRM lead activation.
“For a long time this industry has been cut off from a lot of the advanced technological mainstream,” co-founder and CEO Aharon Horwitz told Refresh Miami. “As technology has become far more rooted everywhere, and more core to businesses, we’ve seen that auto dealers need technology and are looking for technological solutions to be successful.”
Horwitz said that this funding will allow AutoLeadStar to up the ante in terms of what they can offer these users. “We plan to double down on our investment in our technology and product teams, and double down on our customer support infrastructure to further teach and support the industry as it adopts more technology.”
Artificial intelligence plays a particularly important role in AutoLeadStar’s platform, and is a key differentiator for the startup.
“We’re automating things that computers should do so that humans can focus on the creative stuff,” explained Horwitz. The startup also leverages machine learning algorithms to help dealerships make smarter decisions about how to most effectively attract customers.
According to Horwitz, AutoLeadStar has doubled its revenues each year over the past few years. Its platform is used by around a thousand dealerships across North America – domestic and foreign; luxury and mainline. While the startup currently has 105 employees, Horwitz signaled that this figure will increase to 150 within the next six to 12 months.
This growth was appealing to Riverwood Capital, as co-founder and managing partner Francisco Alvarez-Demalde asserted in a statement.
“Aharon and the AutoLeadStar team are incredibly driven,” Alvarez-Demalde said. “They have built a company that is anchored by a world class product platform and go-to-market team, and by a relentless focus on customer success and quality thus delivering tremendous growth and world class software metrics.”
AutoLeadStar, which was founded in 2015 and launched around 2017, has called Miami its US home since 2018. Horwitz, who hails from Cleveland but is now based in Jerusalem, said he was attracted to Miami’s creative energy and scrappy attitude. “The city reflects a nice aspect of our identity: not being afraid of obstacles, and believing that anything’s possible.”
The growth of Miami as a global tech hub has validated this belief.
“We love the industry,” said Horwitz. “Our dealers are selling transportation – something humans have always sought. There’s something amazing about that tradition. And we’re just excited to get great technology under the hood of these car dealers.”
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