Carasti, a Middle East car subscription app, has announced a successful $3m pre-Series A investment round. The round, which was oversubscribed, was led by Net Ventures with participation from Rua Growth Fund, as well as a number of other undisclosed investors. The new investment will allow the company, which currently operates in the United Arab Emirates, to implement its plans for regional expansion, starting with Saudi Arabia later in 2021.
The successful pre-Series A funding round has followed triple-digit Quarter-on-Quarter revenue growth for Carasti since the end of coronavirus-related lockdown measures in the UAE in April 2020, with Q3 2020 posting more than a 200% increase on the previous quarter.
Launched in November 2019, Carasti operates a flexible 1 – 24 monthly car subscription service that allows consumers to choose, swap, upgrade, or downgrade their car – all through the comfort of the Carasti app. Customers can simply select a brand new or used car from the wide selection available, upload their driver’s licence and Emirates ID, and the car is delivered to their doorstep.
The subscription model aims to make car ownership as flexible and affordable as possible, and customers can switch their cars and subscription rates easily to suit their budgets and lifestyles. The bundle subscription also includes registration, maintenance and servicing costs, roadside assist, delivery, insurance, and even fuel on longer term mini lease subscriptions.
Carasti offers the widest selection of cars of any car subscription app in the UAE. It is also the only subscription app to offer brand new cars with zero kilometres on the clock, via its mini lease product.
Claudio Esposito Aiardo, CEO of Carasti, commented: “We’re here to challenge the status quo and redefine the Cars-as-a-Service space in the Middle East. Cars were designed to provide us with additional freedom in our everyday life – but with multiple disjointed services to deal with, such as bank loans, insurance, dealerships, registration, as well as large down payments, it feels like car ownership in its current form is actually holding us back. We created Carasti to unlock more possibilities for drivers – a world where access to cars is easy, seamless and convenient, and where cars offer freedom, not frustrations. We identified a growing appetite for this, which has only been accelerated by the digital transformation in consumer trends brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Michael Menary, CFO of Carasti added: “We are delighted to have Net Ventures and Rua Growth Fund onboard, bringing with them a wealth of experience and great strategic importance given their focus on building online marketplaces, including in the automotive space. Rua Growth Fund will also support our geographical expansion, through their strong regional networks and market access.”
As part of the funding round, Ben Neve, CEO of Net Ventures, and Khaldoon Tabaza from Rua Growth Fund joined Carasti’s Board of Directors. Carasti will now look to further develop their app, hire more talent, and scale operations in the UAE and internationally.
Ben Neve, CEO of Net Ventures, commented: “We are excited to be supporting Carasti. They are an extremely ambitious and talented team that have achieved amazing subscriber growth numbers, with a limited budget, during testing times. We believe Carasti is helping to shape future mobility in the Middle East by introducing Cars-as-a-Service and the benefits to consumers in the region. We welcome the opportunity to work alongside Rua Growth Fund, who have a history of success helping to scale high growth, online businesses in the region.”
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