ACV Mobile App

Revolutionizing the Auto Auction Industry

Helm partnered with ACV Auctions to transform the car auction landscape by creating an innovative app that simplifies the auction process for dealerships. Through a comprehensive design process, including business discovery, branding, user research, product design, UI design, development, and usability testing, Helm helped ACV Auctions launch a disruptive brand identity, marketing website, and mobile app. The result: a powerful platform that replaced days-long travel to attend live auctions with a 15-minute experience, all from the comfort of a dealership.

We began working with the founders using our design process to start building their company.
ACV Devices


In 2014, ACV Auctions aimed to disrupt the traditional automobile auction industry by offering a more efficient and convenient wholesale solution for car dealers. They approached Helm with their vision, a rough business plan, and a few app sketches, seeking a partner to help bring their innovative idea to life.


  • Develop a deep understanding of the car dealership industry and auction process
  • Create a bold and recognizable brand identity for ACV Auctions
  • Design an intuitive and user-friendly app that simplifies the auction process for dealers
  • Build a responsive web experience, including a marketing website and admin dashboard
  • Test and refine the app based on user feedback and metrics
  • Help raise venture financing through pitch deck design and storytelling


Helm embarked on an agile design process, collaborating closely with the ACV Auctions founders. Our work focused on the following areas:

  • Business Discovery: Helm immersed itself in the car dealership world, learning and documenting processes, and mapping out a digital representation to lay the foundation for ACV's app.
  • Branding: Helm designed a bold, clean logo that conveyed speed and innovation, representing ACV's automotive focus and capacity for growth.
  • User Research: Helm's team visited dealerships and interviewed industry professionals to understand their challenges and priorities, ensuring a tailored user experience.
  • Product Design: Through sketches, wireframes, and workflows, we explored and prioritized features, simplifying complex processes to create a user-friendly ap
  • UI Design: Helm designed an intuitive interface that minimized errors when bidding thousands of dollars on a vehicle and enhanced user confidence in the auction process.
  • Development: Working alongside ACV's founders, Helm accelerated the company's progress by building the front-end web experience and mobile application.


Throughout the project, Helm overcame various challenges by maintaining open communication, adjusting strategies as needed, and fostering a collaborative relationship with ACV’s founding team. As the product took shape, Helm refined and optimized the app through timed design exercises and workflow documentation, ensuring a smooth user experience


  • A seamless mobile app platform connecting franchise car dealers and used car dealers, enabling wholesale vehicle auctions with just a few taps on their smartphones.
  • Replacement of days-long travel to live auctions with a 15-minute experience, without leaving the dealership.
  • Successful beta launch with 233 cars auctioned through the app in the first two months. Continued design and product guidance allowing the transaction of thousands of cars thereafter.
  • Created a powerful and detailed pitch decks allowing executives to successfully raise more than $350 million in funds to fuel their rapid growth.
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Today: A Continued Partnership

Since its inception, ACV Auctions has experienced tremendous growth and success in the used car auction industry. The company went public in March 2021 through an IPO, raising over $400 million and achieving a valuation of around $4 billion. ACV Auctions has expanded its operations across all 50 U.S. states and into Canada, solidifying its position as a major player in the market.

The company boasts a workforce of over 1,000 employees, with total revenues over $400 million in 2022, reflecting a staggering year-over-year increases. The platform continues to facilitate the sale of tens of thousands of vehicles each month, and over 2 million vehicles sold, revolutionizing the way dealerships operate. Helm is proud to maintain an ongoing relationship with ACV Auctions, providing ongoing support and expertise as the company continues to thrive and disrupt the automotive industry.

Our work with ACV Auctions demonstrates Helm's ability to partner with early stage companies and turn a simple idea into a disruptive solution. By implementing a comprehensive design process, we delivered a powerful platform that has transformed the auto auction industry, enabling dealerships to save time, money, and resources.