Startups

Silvertree Capital invests into South Africa’s CarZar, an online auto marketplace

Silvertree Capital, the Cape Town-based venture capital firm behind PriceCheck.co.za and CyberCellar.co.za, has invested an undisclosed amount of funding into South Africa’s CarZar.co.za, an online auto vertical founded in 2016.
The investment will help the Cape Town-based second-hand make the second hand auto market in South Africa quick, hassle-free and transparent. The online company uses national data to provide fair, stats-based pricing and offers sellers a safe and convenient way of selling previously owned vehicles, while answering the increased demand from the local vehicle trade.
Michael Muller, joint MD, CarZar says, “Ultimately our model is all about helping consumers sell their car as quickly and easily as possible. We offer online evaluation in 30 seconds. The price is decided on a data-based algorithm and if the quote is satisfactory acceptable, you book a physical assessment slot, online. A valuator visits you and, if the offer is suitable, the deal is done – paperwork and all – in less than 30 minutes. The money is in the bank that same day!”
The online-only model, 30 minute sales service and data-based pricing model ensures low costs, no middlemen and fast turnaround times.

“The way we use cars is changing, fundamentally and rapidly. The Uber phenomenon is showing no sign of letting up and car sharing apps are on the rise. Major car manufacturers are looking into models which allow people to borrow rather than own cars,” adds Muller.

 

CarZar was co-founded by Fernando Pinheiro, Michael Muller and Robert Thompsett. Pinheiro is a Brazilian civil engineer an ex Easy Taxi executive. Muller is a chartered accountant and management consultant that previously worked at McKinsey & Co and PricewaterhouseCoopers while Thompsett is a veteran of the auto trade industry with more than 30 years spent at well-known dealerships like Brian Porter Motors, AMH, and Barlows.

 

According to Pinheiro, joint MD of CarZar, with internet connectivity on the rise, more and more consumers are utilising services provided online or through mobile apps. This opens a series of opportunities in different industries which have not innovated much in the last few decades. With the tough economy, the price gap between new and used cars is widening, making second hand cars a very attractive option as new cars are now out of reach for many people.“These influences combined mean that the prestige of owning an expensive car is slowly being replaced by a more utilitarian attitude towards cars.  The auto-trade market as we know it today will look fundamentally different in the next five to ten years, in our view. The demand for second-hand cars is, therefore, on the rise.”

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