Autobytel Makes Strategic Investment in Newly Formed AutoWeb to Help Launch Innovative, Targeted Pay-Per-Click Marketplace for

  Autobytel Makes Strategic Investment in Newly Formed AutoWeb to Help Launch
  Innovative, Targeted Pay-Per-Click Marketplace for Online Automotive

 Investment Positions Autobytel to Capture Larger Share of Online Automotive
           Help Auto Manufacturers Reach Highly Targeted Car Buyers

Business Wire

IRVINE, Calif. & MIAMI -- September 18, 2013

Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL), the company dedicated to helping automotive
consumers and dealers connect online, today announced it has invested $2.5
million in cash to help build, launch and grow AutoWeb, Inc.’s pay-per-click
(PPC), auction-driven automotive advertising marketplace, which is scheduled
to go live in early 2014. Autobytel has an option to invest an additional $2.5
million as AutoWeb grows.

As part of the agreement, AutoWeb has acquired the AutoWeb trademarks and
domain name ( from Autobytel for $1.5 million in AutoWeb
stock. As a result of the initial investment, Autobytel now owns approximately
16% of AutoWeb. Jeffrey Coats, President and Chief Executive Officer of
Autobytel, has joined AutoWeb’s Board of Directors.

Autobytel will become the first automotive publisher to benefit from AutoWeb’s
PPC platform, receiving a share of the revenue generated by click-throughs at
Autobytel’s websites. Autobytel said it believes the arrangement could
represent a significant revenue opportunity over the next several years.

AutoWeb’s proprietary technology and unique PPC business model, which analyzes
web traffic and adjusts advertiser costs accordingly based on traffic quality,
sets it apart from standard pay-per-click models. The business model behind
this innovative marketplace helped its original creators, Matias de Tezanos,
Julio Gonzalez-Arrivillaga and Jose Vargas, build and grow BrokersWeb Inc., an
insurance-based PPC advertising marketplace, from $1.0 million to $55.0
million in revenue over a three-year period until it was acquired in 2011. The
group has worked closely together for nearly 15 years and has created, grown
and sold several successful technology companies in the hospitality, online ad
network and email marketing industries. Combined revenue of the companies
founded by the group totaled more than $300 million.

How the new AutoWeb will work:

  *AutoWeb attracts high-intent, high-volume, content-oriented automotive
    publishers to its network.
  *AutoWeb’s platform helps publishers monetize traffic that has previously
    been under-monetized.
  *In-market car shoppers researching specific vehicle brands at publisher
    sites are presented with highly relevant display ads and benefit from an
    online experience that delivers the perfect vehicle to meet their needs.
  *Auto manufacturers benefit from gaining access to serious, in-market car
    buyers at the right price. AutoWeb’s platform enables manufacturers to
    fully optimize their ad campaigns in real time by model, zip code and
  *AutoWeb generates revenue for every click on the ads it delivers and
    shares a portion of that revenue with its publisher partners.
  *AutoWeb uses proprietary technology to evaluate traffic quality derived
    from the source and click-to-conversion data and adjusts advertiser costs
    accordingly to provide more clicks at the right price and quality.

“We believe our investment in AutoWeb will not only create substantial
opportunities to deliver serious car buyers to our customers and a
personalized online experience to consumers, but will also increase
monetization of our website traffic,” said Coats. “The AutoWeb team has proven
experience developing successful pay-per-click marketplaces. As the auto
industry continues to exceed growth expectations – August SAAR surpassed 16
million units – and automotive advertisers continue to transition to digital
media, the timing is perfect for introducing a first-class product that will
benefit all marketplace participants.”

Strong and Growing Automotive Marketplace
The automotive market has now reached pre-recession levels, with August
vehicle sales reaching 1.5 million units, a gain of 17% from August 2012. In a
recent automotive advertising outlook study, Borrell Associates, a leading
research firm, noted that new car sales should grow more than 54% this year,
up from 10.4 million in 2009. At the same time, advertising spending is
shifting from newspapers, television and radio, to online and mobile.
According to the study, by 2018, total online spend by auto manufacturers and
dealers is anticipated to grow to more than $20.0 billion, up from $14.0
billion in 2013.

“Our goal is to create a new client-driven advertising platform never before
available in the automotive industry, focused on significantly enhancing
client ROI by reaching consumers with the highest purchase intent,” said de
Tezanos, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AutoWeb. “The automotive
industry requires advertising innovation and efficiency to capture the
opportunities presented by the transition to online advertising, which now
accounts for more than 20% of the total $33.0 billion spent on automotive
advertising in 2013, according to Borrell. We are honored to partner with
Autobytel, the leader in helping manufacturers and dealers sell more cars. We
are confident that AutoWeb will quickly be established as the premier
advertising solution for the growing automotive industry.”

About Autobytel Inc.
Autobytel Inc., an online leader offering consumer leads and marketing
resources to car dealers and manufacturers, and providing consumers with the
information they need to purchase new and used cars, pioneered the automotive
Internet when it launched its flagship website,, in 1995.
Autobytel continues to offer innovative products and services to help
consumers buy, and auto dealers and manufacturers sell, more used and new
cars. Autobytel has helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research
vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers;
and helped every major automaker market its brand online. Through its flagship
website, network of automotive sites and respected online affiliates,
Autobytel continues its dedication to innovating the industry’s highest
quality Internet programs to provide consumers with a comprehensive and
positive automotive research and purchasing experience, and auto dealers,
dealer groups and auto manufacturers with some of the industry’s most
productive and cost-effective customer referral and marketing programs.

Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and
invitations to special events by accessing the online registration form at
Autobytel Investor Alerts.

About AutoWeb, Inc.
Founded in 2013 and based in Miami, AutoWeb is launching a premium
pay-per-click (PPC), auction-driven marketing network for the automotive
industry. The company’s PPC, ROI-driven marketplace allows its clients to
effectively target high-intent online consumers, while allowing online
automotive publishers to better monetize traffic. For more information visit
AutoWeb, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer

The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts
are forward-looking statements under the federal securities laws. These
forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, comments with
respect to the company’s belief that the publishing arrangement could
represent a significant revenue opportunity over the next several years, and
the company’s belief that the investment will create substantial opportunities
to deliver serious car buyers to our customers and a personalized online
experience to consumers and increase monetization of the company’s website
traffic, are not guarantees of future performance and involve assumptions and
risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and
results may differ materially from what is expressed in, or implied by, these
forward-looking statements. Autobytel undertakes no obligation to update
publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise. Among the important factors that
could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or
implied by, the forward-looking statements are the ability to build, launch
and grow the platform as anticipated, the acceptance of the new platform by
customers, changes in communications technologies and consumer preferences,
changes in general economic conditions; the financial condition of automobile
manufacturers and dealers; disruptions in automobile production; changes in
fuel prices; the economic impact of terrorist attacks, political revolutions
or military actions; failure of our internet security measures; dealer
attrition; pressure on dealer fees; increased or unexpected competition; the
failure of new products and services to meet expectations; failure to retain
key employees or attract and integrate new employees; actual costs and
expenses exceeding charges taken by Autobytel; changes in laws and
regulations; costs of legal matters, including, defending lawsuits and
undertaking investigations and related matters; and other matters disclosed in
Autobytel’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors are
strongly encouraged to review the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the
year ended December 31, 2012 and other filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission for a discussion of risks and uncertainties that could
affect the business, operating results, or financial condition of Autobytel
and the market price of the company’s stock.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:



Autobytel Inc. Media Relations
Splash Media
Jennifer Lange
Autobytel Inc. Investor Relations
Curtis DeWalt
Chief Financial Officer
PondelWilkinson Inc.
Roger Pondel/Laurie Berman
AutoWeb, Inc.
Jose Vargas
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.