Car auction site SellAnyCar.com, which is based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, has announced that it will open 100 branches in Saudi Arabia following the successful raising of $35m within a funding round.
The round was led by the Gulf Investment Corp, Olayan Financing Co and the Public Investment Fund’s Sanabil Investments.
The Public Investment Fund has been investing in regional start-up firms, including the likes of e-commerce platform Noon.com, which is owned by Emaar chairman and real estate tycoon Mohamed Alabbar, in addition to international enterprises such as Uber Technologies.
The chief executive officer of SellAnyCar.com, Saygin Yalcin, says that expanding the company into Saudi Arabia will be its largest fund expenditure but that its product line will also expand to launch BuyAnyCar.com, which enables consumers to buy cars sold by other consumers and has so far raised $50m since its inception.
Yalcin says that the platform, which enables customers to buy any used vehicle in more than half an hour, will hire 300 Saudi nationals, with women being a particular focus as they are expected to be more comfortable selling their own vehicles it if can be done online.
The plan is to have the new branches open in Saudi Arabia over the course of the next two years.
Yalcin claims that women will be more likely to sell their used vehicles themselves instead of leaving it to male relatives, as is usually the case.
He says that the platform is already profitable, with five branches having already been launched in Saudi Arabia within the last three months.
There is a total of 25 branches in the UAE, 17 of which are in Dubai.
SellAnyCar.com gives its customers the opportunity to have an online car valuation and provides a free car inspection at one of its physical branches.
The inspection report on the vehicle will then be uploaded to the online platform, where the car can be bid on by potential buyers from all over the world.
The platform is essentially a stock exchange for motor vehicles, according to Yalcin.
The platform receives billions of dollars in total in the form of bids, with the largest bids for luxury supercars such as Bugatti being in the millions.
It has been a record year in terms of venture capital for the Middle East and North Africa.
Almost 600 start-up companies within the region were given more than US$700m in funding in 2019, a MAGNiTT report has revealed.
Anyone who intends to buy a used or new motor vehicle and then drive it within the United Arab Emirates is legally obligated to take out car insurance before they can do so.
Drivers are required to take out at least a basic form of third-party car insurance coverage in order to meet UAE law.
More comprehensive car insurance policies are also available, offering protection from the likes of car theft, vandalism or damage due to bad weather.