CarSwitch.com, the UAE’s first marketplace for certified cars, has secured an additional $1 million investment led by Dubai Angel Investors and with follow-on investment by Glowfish Capital. The company aims to launch a broader Series A closer to the end of 2018.
This brings the total investment in the platform to over $2 million in the past 16 months, during which the company grew more than 600 percent, and interacted with over 20,000 used car sellers in Dubai. It also has partnerships with several franchise agencies to market their new cars.
CarSwitch.com is a new model for car sales that is taking off globally with players like Gauzi and Renrenche in China, Shift in the U.S., Droom and Truebill in India and many more that have collectively raised over $2 billion. CarSwitch is applying the model to disrupt the $40-50 billion regional car market by cutting out high-cost middlemen (dealers) to offer sellers and buyers more value, peace of mind and convenience.
For used car sellers, CarSwitch.com takes on everything from inspecting, warranting and photographing the car, to advertising, collecting calls, filtering prospective buyers, attending test drives and handling the paperwork. The buyers see the results of the full 200 point inspection online so they know every detail about the car, down to pictures of every scratch, before they leave their home. Furthermore, CarSwitch assists buyers & sellers with insurance, financing and transferring ownership. The peace of mind and convenience of the model enables sellers to command a fairer price for the car and allows used car buyers to buy with confidence.
Founded in 2016, by ex-McKinsey & Company consultants, Imad Hammad and Ali Malik, CarSwitch.com has now also attracted the interest of franchise agencies looking to market their new cars. The platform allows consumers to compare certified used cars and new cars in one place to make an informed decision.
Abdullah Mutawi, chairman and cofounder of Dubai Angel Investors said: "CarSwitch.com takes buying and selling your car to a completely new level. I actually used the service myself as the ultimate litmus test. They sold my car in a couple of days and then found me a nearly new car only a few hours after the seller went through his inspection. The service is a game-changer for both buyers and sellers and brings efficiency, dependability and peace of mind to a process that often leaves people short-changed. As an investor, we’ve been very selective about the companies that we have backed, but we are confident that CarSwitch has a winning team and a fantastic game-plan and we are excited to support them in bringing the platform to further users in the region.”
Imad Hammad, founder and CEO, said: “The platform’s transaction based model, as opposed to simply advertising, pushes us to focus on building an exceptional experience. With the transparency provided online, we now sell a car in less than three test drives on average, and some sight unseen, which reduces the friction for both buyers and sellers.” He continued: “As a result we have a 90 percent satisfaction rate.”
“We plan to continue to scale up our operations in the UAE and bring features to the platform that enable buyers to make offers and negotiate pricing online. After which we’ll look towards a Series A fundraising for regional expansion,” he added.