Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Car-buying service CarZar.co.za has secured $1.5m in funding from Nasdaq Stockholm-listed Vostok New Ventures in a move that will boost the company’s expansion plans.

CarZar, which started operating in 2016, is an online car-buying service for the secondhand car-trade industry.

CarZar joint MD Fernando Pinheiro said the company would use the funding to improve "customer experience, as well as boosting marketing, and recruiting more talents to join the international team".

CarZar enables owners who want to sell their vehicles to post their car details online. CarZar’s unique algorithm will then instantly generate an estimated selling price for the vehicle. If the sellers are happy with the estimate, they can book free CarZar inspections.

The company has a presence in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

CarZar has previously received funding from Silvertree Capital, a local venture capital firm, and an undisclosed UK-based investor

Pinheiro said consumer education was one of the biggest challenges CarZar had faced so far. "South Africans are proving to be ready to welcome new ways of ‘getting stuff done’."

With the local market being extremely diverse and the automotive industry relatively traditional, South Africans were still familiarising themselves with new ways of selling their vehicles," said Pinheiro.

CarZar has previously received funding from Silvertree Capital, a local venture capital firm, and an undisclosed UK-based investor focusing on emerging markets.

Other companies Silvertree Capital has funded include PriceCheck, a price comparison website, and online bottle store CyberCellar.

CarZar would not disclose its ownership structure.

Investment company Vostok New Ventures, which was founded in 2007, has funded other online tech brands such as BlaBlaCar, a long-distance ride-sharing service, and Gett, an on-demand taxi-hailing service operating in Israel, Russia, the UK and New York City.

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