CarSwitch secures funding for new services, tools

11 Apr 2017

CarSwitch.com, the used-cars marketplace based in UAE, received $1.3 million U.S. from early-stage incubator Glowfish Capital, a Dubai-based, boutique venture capital firm, investing in the region’s early-stage businesses. CarSwitch plans to spend the money on new services and tools.

Glowfish Capital has also invested in MoveSouq.com, a home-services marketplace in the UAE.

Glowfish Capital invested in CarSwitch, after a period of 30 percent growth month-on-month with just its own seed capital, which confirmed that the Emirates is a leader in the region when it comes to entrepreneurial behavior, and start-ups.

Launching CarSwitch with seed funding “of a couple of hundred thousand dollars”, co-founders and ex-McKinsey & Company consultants Imad Hammad and Ali Malik had their beta product live by March 2016.

Since launch, CarSwitch.com has interacted with more than 6,000 sellers, and claims to be featuring more than 400 cars on the site. As for business performance, despite heavy competition in the vertical, CarSwitch.com said it is “profitable on an operating basis”, and continues to clock month-on-month revenue growth of 30 percent.

CarSwitch.com has tried to reduce the challenges faced by both sellers and buyers of used autos in the UAE. For sellers, the start-up takes the entire task over – from start to finish, which includes advertising, collecting calls, arranging test drives, negotiating the sale, and finishing off the paperwork.

The company plans to expand the premium customer experience by extending its operations and adding technology, which includes launching IOS and Android apps, the roll-out of an online valuation tool, and a concierge desk to serve the insurance and financing needs of clients.

CarSwitch.com runs its own 200-point inspection, and discloses the results on its site, for greater transparency in the marketplace, while adding a warranty to every car. This results in complete peace of mind for the buyers, who in the end purchase directly from the sellers.

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Ayman Helal

Ayman Helal is a writer and analyst for the MENA region. He works as a Journalist and Editor at Dar- Al Hayat publishing and distribution (A Pan Arab newspaper) since 2011. With more than 7 years of experience in writing, he published several articles in the Lebanese and Arabic media, which handled economic, touristic, political, and social issues.