Used car marketplace DubiCars has agreed to team up with Emerging Classifieds Ventures (ECV) to provide UAE car dealers with a platform to export cars.
The deal is part of DubiCars ExportSafe service, launched in June, which connects UAE-based car dealers with customers in Africa, Europe and the U.S.
ECV, which started in 2017, owns a portfolio of online market places in emerging and early stage markets covering four regions and 90 countries, including Africar Group.
DubiCars said it was hoping to increase its market share and margins with its online export business through the new service which provides a managed inspection, purchasing and shipping service to both the volume market in Africa and supercar customers located in the U.S. and Europe, can increase both market share for the company and margins.
DubiCars, which mostly works with dealers in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, said that it planned to export between 200 and 300 cars per month overseas by the end of the year.
DubiCars estimates that last year it sold 30,000 Toyotas to African markets.
Previously, dealers themselves handled export sales, usually transacting their business through a network of international brokers.
Craig Stevens, CEO of DubiCars said, “Over the past 12 months we have experienced a 100 per cent increase in demand from Africa. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, demand from customers remained high; however, customers required different solutions to complete transactions due to the subsequent international travel restrictions and Dubi Cars’ ‘Export Safe’ offering effectively met this requirement. Since coming out of the lockdown, the UAE community has resiliently and safely been focusing on the way forward and customers are actively seeking opportunities to contribute towards the UAE economy – and DubiCars has experienced an increase in customer inquiries, generating 17,000 leads in August 2020 alone.”
Dubicars was first established in 2014 by Pierre Siri and several other investors. Seed funding came from Merro, the holding company behind PropertyFinder and OpenSooq.
However, in 2018, Michael Lahyani, the owner of PropertyFinder, became the company’s chairman and major shareholder. He began refocusing DubiCars as an online marketplace, attempting to replicate PropertyFinder’s successful model.
Since then the company has had two rounds of Series A fundraising. Investors include venture capitalist firm, Vostock New Ventures (now VNV Global). VNV Global currently owns a 9.9% stake in Dubicars worth an estimated $1.05 million U.S.