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Silvertree investment, CarZar, is now being backed by Nasdaq-listed Vostok

10 May 2017

The young South African tech-startup, CarZar.co.za, which was founded in 2016, is now being backed by Vostok New Ventures, the Sweden-listed investment firm behind Avito, Russia’s leading online classifieds company.

Vostok New Ventures is listed on the NASDAQ Stockholm Exchange and has also funded other successful online tech-brands – BlaBlaCar, a leading long-distance ride sharing service; Gett, an on-demand taxi hailing service available in Israel, Russia, UK and New York City; babylon, a leading AI-driven digital healthcare company, and many more.

Vostok New Ventures investment in CarZar is part of larger funding round. CarZar has proven its economic viability to its funders. They are also backed by Silvertree Capital, the South-African based venture capital firm behind PriceCheck, the leading price comparison website in South Africa, and CyberCellar, South Africa’s oldest and most trusted online bottle store. CarZar is also backed by a third undisclosed U.K-based investor focusing on emerging markets.

CarZar is an online car buying service for the second hand auto-trade industry in South Africa. In operation for only a year, the startup has been disrupting the second-hand car market by introducing technology to an industry that has remained traditional for decades.

CarZar Joint MD, Fernando Pineiro, says the investment is a fantastic opportunity for CarZar. He says with this new round of funding they will focus more on improving customer experience, as well as boosting marketing, and recruiting more talents to join their international team.

CarZar entered the second-hand car market with a clear mission – empowering SA consumers to sell their pre-loved vehicles seamlessly.

Potential sellers can simply go onto the CarZar.co.za website, and enter their cars details; after which CarZar’s unique algorithm will generate an estimate for the vehicle’s selling price instantly. If the seller is happy with the estimated value, they can book a free inspection with one of CarZar’s fully trained car inspectors – at one of CarZar’s Car Buying Centres or at their preferred location. Within 20 minutes, the inspector will make a final offer to the seller. CarZar then makes an instant payment and takes care of all the paperwork. In all, the process takes 30 minutes.

The CarZar service comes at zero cost to customers and it is 100 percent obligation-free.

With the tech-startup making waves in the car industry, CarZar has captured the eyes of Vostok New Ventures. The Sweden-listed investment firm finds and identifies investment opportunities with strong network effects characteristics through expertise, experience and a widespread network, built-up during the company’s history.

Although CarZar may be a young tech-startup, the company has seen extensive growth while entering the market with a strong brand promise to guarantee safety, transparency, convenience and competence throughout the car selling experience. CarZar has expanded its scope from Cape Town, to Johannesburg and Durban, with a multicultural team constantly growing.

Pinheiro says consumer education is one of the biggest challenges CarZar has faced thus 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 auto industry being among the most traditional ones, South Africans are still familiarising themselves with new ways of selling their vehicles,” says Pinheiro.

Pinheiro believes the company will only grow from strength-to-strength.“We see technology being our key differentiator and main driver of growth. Additionally, we foresee territorial expansion in South Africa, introducing our services to even the smallest of towns,” says Pinheiro.

CarZar customer reviews have indicated that the tech-startup is consistently delivering a positive car selling experience – contributing to the performance growth of the company, and proving that CarZar is a business to be reckoned with.