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Seez seeks to make UAE car buying easier

Seez, the start-up company based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates that assists people to purchase motor vehicles via its mobile app, has raised as much as US$6m in a Series A round that it says was five times oversubscribed.

The round was led by a number of automotive companies that are responsible for the distribution of a total of nine brands in the KSA as well as the UAE, though the names of the firms were not disclosed.

The VCs joining the round included the likes of Crealize from Germany, Phoenician Funds and B&Y Venture Partners from Lebanon, and Dubai’s own Wamda.

A variety of angels also took part in the round.

The latest round means that the total capital now raised by Seez has reached $9.2m, with its last $1m publically disclosed funding round having been announced back in August 2018.

Seez was started by Andrew Kabrit and Tarek Kabrit in Lebanon, but it now has its headquarters in Dubai.

It aggregates listings from an array of online platforms, including those belonging to its partners, in order to list used and new vehicles in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, South Africa and Pakistan on its mobile-based platform and website.

The platform also offers AI-powered negotiation and pricing tools that enable users to get some sense of the approximate value of listed vehicles and even negotiate for them.

One million people use Seez, and there are nearly half a million vehicles listed, which the firm claims makes it the region’s biggest car catalogue.

With its platform and listing now built, the start-up is beginning to expand into new services, including an online buying option enabling users to purchase vehicles completely online, though it is unclear if all markets are being offered this service.

The start-up has also recently launched a cross-border car shopping app aimed at users in Kuwait, Nigeria, Albania, Sudan and Saudi Arabia to allow them to import vehicles from the UAE and have all logistics and paperwork handled by Seez.

This service allows for the purchase of any motor vehicle, which will then be delivered right to the customer’s door, according to the company website.

The new statement says that nearly 50% of the 275,000 cars that were sold in the UAE last year (120,000 in total) were bought in order to be exported internationally.

Seez is now viewing this unaddressed market as having serious potential in the future.

From the beginning, the company has used technology to help change the way that people shop for motor vehicles, says the CEO and co-founder of Seez, Tarek Kabrit.

In the first three years of the company’s life, the focus was on building the product and growing a user base, but Kabrit notes that the platform is now being leveraged and used as a launch pad for a variety of exciting new services.

Anyone who is buying a used or new car in the UAE will need to take out basic third-party car insurance to be in accordance with the nation’s laws.