Investments

Dubai-based CarSwitch raises $1 million to make it easy to buy and sell used cars

CarSwitch.com, a Dubai-based marketplace for certified used vehicles has raised $1 million in a round led by angel-investment network Dubai Angel Investors with follow-on funding from Glowfish Capital. Having raised $1.3 million last year, this round brings startup’s total investment raised so far to $2.3 million.

Co-founded by two former McKinsey consultants, Imad Hammad and Ali Malik in 2016, CarSwitch.com makes it easier for people to buy and sell used cars in UAE. The startup offers end-to-end solutions to both buyers and sellers through its platform and 200 point inspection service, making the whole process very easy.

For sellers, CarSwitch.com does everything form inspecting, warranting and photographing the car, to advertising, collecting calls, filtering prospective buyers, attending test drives and handling the paperwork.

And the buyers get to see the results of full 200 point inspection online on CarSwitch.com’s platform so they know almost every detail about the car including the pictures of every scratch on it.

The startup also assists both the parties with insurance, financing and transferring ownership.

The business model for CarSwitch.com is based on the successful transaction. For every car sold through the platform, the startup charges the seller a success fee which ranges from 1000 to 3000 dirhams. The startup also charges a nominal upfront fee (~150 dirhams) to list the car on its platform that covers the car inspection expenses.

“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 3 test drives on average, and some sight unseen, which reduces the friction for both buyers and sellers. As a result we have a 90% satisfaction rate,” said Imad Hammad, co-founder and CEO of the startup.

CarSwitch.com saw more than 600% of growth during the last 16 months, the startup said in a statement. They iteracted with over 20,000 used cars sellers in Dubai and now have partnerships with many franchises to market their new cars.

Abdullah Mutawi Chairman and Co-Founder of Dubai Angel Investors speaking about the investment, 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,” he added.

The startup plans to use the investment to scale up their operations in UAE and further develop their platform by adding features that will allow buyers to make offers and negotiate prices online.

Later in the year, they plan to raise more investment in a Series A round that will fuel their expansion outside UAE.

Zubair Naeem Paracha

Contributor at MENAbytes
An HR Consultant based in Riyadh who has always been passionate about tech and startups. Currently trying to build his own startup, Qraar. You can reach him on Linkedin,  Twitter or zubair [at] menabytes [dot] com.

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