Custodian has announced the long-term vision for its free-to-use service, which allows members to manage their classic and specialist cars online.
In an open letter to members today, Custodian CEO Charles Clegg sets out the company’s plans to become the central repository of accurate, authoritative and trustworthy information for the classic, specialist and enthusiast car world, and provide a means to organise it for the benefit of passionate car enthusiasts.
This is in line with a founding philosophy to ensure the long-term preservation of car enthusiasm by removing the friction associated with the ownership of classic, specialist and enthusiast cars. The requirement for this service is evidenced by sustained user growth with more than 5,000 members using the Custodian platform. Indeed, the value of cars currently managed on the platform has grown to more than £150 million.
These members are already using the Custodian platform to upload details about their car, enabling them to keep their vehicle’s important documents, photographs and history in one place that is easily searchable and at their fingertips, which can also be shared with prospective buyers.
The process of digitising the information not only provides a seamless and enjoyable ownership experience but is also vital to ensuring that years of knowledge are not lost with the passing of the generation that currently owns and cherishes them. To enable the future accessibility and organisation of this knowledge, Custodian has developed a highly secure and instantly accessible digital repository augmented by sophisticated knowledge graph technology.
Uniquely, the information that will form this essential knowledge source for car enthusiasts goes beyond scanned documentation, photographs and invoices. Members are able to upload details of any experience related to their car, however abstract. These also include factors such as events attended, awards won, specialists used, upgrades fitted, preferred products, annual mileage, occurrence and causes of any breakdowns – even which photographer has taken images of a member’s car.
As the community of members builds, Custodian will become the essential platform for prospective and existing classic, specialist and enthusiast car owners to research, plan and ultimately manage their ownership experience. The collective mindshare of the Custodian community will create and organise an unprecedented pool of reliable, up-to-date classic and specialist car information.
By bringing together and preserving the vast wealth of disparate records and knowledge currently held on paper in files and logbooks, and kept in individual owners’ memories, Custodian aims to provide its members with unbiased insights that will prove invaluable to buyers, sellers and the classic and specialist car industry at large to organise and secure the generational transfer of this critical knowledge.
The key to preserving this knowledge and making it accessible is Custodian’s knowledge engine. Co-founders Nathalia Rus and Jeremy Hindle (Forbes 30 Under 30 and Y Combinator alumni) have built a world class in-house engineering team while drawing from their experience in neuroscience, equities trading and artificial intelligence. The engine is able to search and analyse the highly complex information stored in a knowledge graph to present clear, near-instant results. These can be specific factual details, or broader, more contextual snapshots of how a car has been used over its lifetime.
This unique software platform will enable Custodian to provide robust, unbiased information for the benefit of its members and the car enthusiast community, anchored by the metrics that matter to the individual owner – be it boosting the value of a car, making it more reliable or simply finding the best specialist to undertake a job.
• Custodian announces long-term vision for free-to-use classic car service • Goal is to crowdsource future of specialist cars by pooling specialist knowledge • Proprietary tech will capture, collate and organise information • Will enable owners to select best suppliers and specialists based on quality of work • Enables buyers to buy best example of a classic and understand common faults • Ensures sellers maximise resale values and best prepare vehicles for market • Call for owners to secure the future of specialist cars by joining Custodian
LONG TERM VISION
As this unprecedented community-sourced library of knowledge grows, so will its use for everyone concerned with the preservation of classic and specialist cars. Existing owners and the next generation of car enthusiasts alike will be able to identify restoration companies whose work attracts the highest onward sale prices for a particular marque, specific models whose value has risen above the market rate, common faults among certain model variants, suppliers able to undertake highly specialised work, the best price point to market their car, ways to increase that price point, the best events to attend to increase a car’s profile and value and even the most popular roads to drive on depending on a specific make, model and variant.
Charles Clegg, CEO of Custodian, says: “As a lifelong car enthusiast, I know that the collective information that exists within the community has been largely subjective, anecdotal, disparate and unstructured. With our proprietary software, we’re applying the very latest data science and technology to make it objective, peer-reviewed, centrally held and organised. Using our platform, all that priceless knowledge and insight that’s currently scattered across the classic car world could be untangled and organised; safe, secure, transparent and accessible, helping everyone make more informed buying and care decisions – and, we hope, prevent people from making the costly mistakes nearly every classic or specialist car enthusiast has made along the way.
“As our community grows, so does the library of knowledge that previously risked being lost forever. Our work now will ensure the cars we love are enjoyed, cherished and driven for many generations to come. We are empowering a community built on a shared passion for the preservation of the cars by using the latest digital archiving technologies to make this critical information instantly and effortlessly accessible. This is to the enormous benefit of existing and prospective owners, buyers and sellers, restorers and parts suppliers – the entire classic car community.”
If you want to participate in securing the future of classic and specialist cars, join Custodian for free here