Servicing one’s car personally is a time-consuming, expensive and painstaking process. It’s a cycle that can lead to more expensive repairs and safety issues down the line, and no car owner likes that.
Egypt and Dubai-based auto tech startup Odiggo is a platform addressing this problem. It allows car owners to get the help they need by finding car services and parts suppliers from providers around them. Then for the suppliers, it increases their sales and reaches more customers without necessarily spending on marketing.
Odiggo is part of the current YC Summer batch and has secured a $2.2 million seed round before Demo Day. The rosters of existing investors participating in the round are Y Combinator, 500 Startups, and Plug and Play Ventures. Regional VCs like Seedra Ventures, LoftyInc Capital, and Essa Al-Saleh (CEO of Volta-Tucks) also took part.
Ahmed Omar and Ahmed Nasser launched Odiggo in December 2019. The company operates a marketplace that connects car owners with service providers who can solve their problems, from servicing and repair to washing and maintenance. A commission-based model is used and Odiggo charges the car suppliers 20% commission on every transaction.
Over 50,000 car owners across three markets — Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia — use Odiggo. The company also works directly with over 300 merchants. It claims merchant numbers have grown 40% month-on-month while its user base has increased 200% since the start of the pandemic.
“We believe we are at a watershed moment. It is incredible that since COVID hit, Odiggo has experienced over 10 times growth in the last year,” said co-founder Omar.
CEO Omar said with this new round, Odiggo’s priority will be to attain consistent growth while expanding its team across the UEA, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
He adds that since Odiggo taps into a mix of data sources — including car metrics and internal software, it will use that same information to provide more product offerings.
Odiggo will use part of the funding to continue developing its tech and dashboard software, he said.
“For example, the platform would be hooked up to the car owner’s vehicle and link the vehicle to the marketplace and provide frequent updates of your vehicle condition so you’ll be informed if the tires are low, the oil needs changing, or if a service is required.”
The pandemic has upended the mobility and logistics sectors, especially in MENA, making players like Odiggo gain much visibility from investors. In an industry today worth over $61 billion in the Middle East and Africa alone, Odiggo is looking to become a market leader. It has even more lofty plans to go public in the next three years.
“We are also aiming to be fully focused on spending more on our product and technology, as building an ecosystem to monetize requires more capital. Our target is to go for IPO by 2024 and achieve one billion services booked, and this requires a lot of network effects, infrastructure and technology,” the CEO said.
“We aim to be the first $100 billion company coming out of the region,” added Nasser.
Some of its investors, Idris Ayodeji Bello, managing partner at LoftyInc, and Essa Al-Saleh, are onboard with the startup’s plan despite early days.
“We are excited to back Odiggo through our Afropreneurs Funds in its quest to transform the automotive parts market and provide superior service to clients, starting from MENA. The leadership team of Omar and Nasser, supported by the rest of the employees, have been a joy to work with and we are on a countdown to the IPO,” said Bello in a statement.