After meeting at UC Berkeley as undergrads, Chris and Dwight became immediate friends and roommates. It was around October 2011 that both guys had frustrating experiences with purchasing cars and saw an opportunity to leave their current jobs and get into the SF start-up scene.
They knew they wanted to create a search site that would make it easier and more reliable for potential customers. Dwight and Chris also saw an opportunity to provide a personal, unique experience that was currently missing from the online used car market. In their research, they also learned that many more times than not, dealerships were able to price cars however they wanted and it was difficult for customers to know what a fair price was.
Soon after creating Carsabi, they entered the prestigious Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator (YC) program. It was during that time that they built out the main portion of their site and began aggregating listings from sites like Craigslist. By the end of YC, they had one of the largest inventories of used cars at about 1.8 million used car listings.
After a successful few months out in beta, the guys ran into some issues with their listing sources and were forced to look for other partnership opportunities. After a few additional months, Dwight and Chris both decided that they weren’t able to offer the service they wanted and sold Carsabi to the search company Ark.