Zipflip Takes Turbulence out of Used Car Sales

Holly Ashley

Calls from strangers, meeting in random parking lots and public cash exchanges make you feel like you’re lurking in a “Breaking Bad” episode instead of selling your car. Buying the used car feels equally creepy.

“The private sale automotive market is really large − almost a third of the overall used car market − but still very disorganized,” says Zipflip co-founder Tim Kelly. “Craigslist can be a nightmare, and sites like Autotrader are expensive, complicated and put dealers' inventory first.”

Zipflip promises to change all that. The Chattanooga-based startup bills itself as the Airbnb of car shopping, positioning its peer-to-peer mobile marketplace as the “safer, smarter, simpler” way to buy and sell used cars. No more standing around in parking lots with shady strangers. Zipflip verifies the title and seller of every car and provides vehicle history reports. The app allows private messaging, smart notifications of price changes and competing offers, secure payment options and an eBill of Sale.   

Located in the Chattanooga Chamber’s INCubator on the trendy Northshore, co-founders Tim Kelly and Joe Alegre lead a powerhouse team of seven.  As part of the Chamber’s highly successful INCubator program, the company enjoys convenient business support from a wide variety of start-up services alongside approximately 70 other aspiring entrepreneurs. 

At less than a year old, Zipflip’s speeding through the qualifying laps of the start-up community, earning national automotive and business attention. For example, Zipflip captured both the Grand Prize and Consumer’s Choice awards in the’s 2015 Hackomotive pitch competition in Santa Monica this year.  State accelerator program Launch Tennessee named Zipflip one of 36 promising startups to present at its 36|86 conference in Nashville alongside other standout Chattanooga startups RootsRated, Feetz and PriceWaiter.

A long-time auto aficionado and industry expert, Kelly has owned Kelly Auto Group and Southern Honda Powersports in Chattanooga for decades. Alegre founded Cloud Nine Solutions, a Microsoft Partner, and spent more than 20 years designing web apps and managing the tech user experience.

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