‘We tried to partner with investors that gelled with us’ — CarZar on $1.5m deal


Partnering with investors that complement them has helped SA tech startup and online car buying service CarZar.co.za land $1.5-million in funding from a Sweden-listed investment firm, says CarZar Joint managing director Fernando Pinheiro.

Pinheiro announced the deal by Vostok New Ventures, which is also behind Russia’s leading online classifieds company Avito, last week.

He said the company was approached by several potential investors after opening its Series-A round of funding. He said CarZar was introduced to the investment company through common connections.

“We tried to partner with investors that gelled with our business, enabling good synergies working together. Vostok New Ventures proved to be this type of investor. They have a great reputation, with a portfolio of several successful companies,” said Pinheiro, in an emailed response to questions from Ventureburn.

As part of the startup’s Series-A funding round, CarZar is also backed by Silvertree Capital, the SA based venture capital firm and by a third undisclosed UK-based investor focusing on emerging markets.

Read more: CarZar gets backed by Silvertree Capital

Pinheiro said due to legal agreements with investors, he could not disclose the size of the Series-A round and shareholding details.

“However, as VNV is a listed company, the value of their investments are public. In this round, Vostok New Ventures contributed $1.5-million,” he said.

‘We tried to partner with investors that gelled with our business’

In an earlier press release to Ventureburn, Pinheiro said the company — which he founded last year with Michael Muller — will use the latest round of funding to help improve customer experience, boost marketing and recruit more talent to join their international team.

He would not disclose the value of cars sold through the site so far and what the average value of each car sale is, however he added that since launching in April last year the company has seen steady monthly growth of 30%.

“I would also like to add that we are reaching thousands of quotes and bookings every month and we foresee them growing with larger marketing reach and territorial expansion.”

He added that the company purchases any type of vehicle — no matter the make, model, colour, age or mileage. “We’ve already purchased cars from as low as R11 000, up to R1-million.”

Vostok New Ventures has also funded other successful online tech brands including ride sharing service BlaBlaCar, taxi hailing service Gett and AI-driven digital healthcare company Babylon.

Featured image: supplied



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