Invygo, the first app-based car subscription company in the MENA region announced it was offering an alternative to owning or leasing a car.
This Dubai-based startup, has raised $1 million in its Seed round.
The seed round was led by Class 5 Global, a San Francisco based venture fund, and Invygo will be investing the funds raised into upcoming expansion plans in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and other GCC countries.
That got us intrigued.
What was this company disrupting in the car sale and lease market?
Here is what we knew
Customers can choose a car, upload their license and sign their documents all from within the app and have the car delivered for free to their home within hours.
With no debt, long-term commitment or hidden fees involved, customers pay monthly to drive the car and can even request servicing or return their car with the tap of a button whenever they need.
Invygo was incubated by in5 in April 2018 following their first $275,000 funding round in November 2018. It then joined accelerator program Misk500.
The company has already served close to 1000 car subscriptions to date with seven car brands in the UAE.
The company was founded by Eslam Hussein and Pulkit Ganjoo whom are both IE Business School Alumni and have extensive experience in the automotive industry, finance and machine learning.
We needed to learn more.
In an interview with Eslam Hussein and Pulkit Ganjoo, we got to the nitty gritty of why, who, how what, where and when.
1. How did the idea start- What was the Eureka moment?
Eslam: I have extensive experience in the automotive industry, having worked in various roles at CDK and Cox Automotive, leading IT providers in the automotive retail space.
During my entrepreneurship class at IE Business School, I realized that there was an opportunity to address a growing gap in the automotive space. The current automotive retail model doesn’t meet the needs of today’s fast paced consumer and I felt that needed to be changed.
Pulkit: Buying a car is a time-consuming, expensive decision that can end up being a 3 to 5-year commitment. Between the cost of the car itself, maintaining it, and massive depreciation over time, owning a car can be one of the most important financial decisions a customer can make. At the same time, dealers are also struggling to sell cars today, as fewer customers are willing to make a long-term commitment.
By partnering with car dealers, Invygo hopes to help them get the most out of their assets, while providing customers a simple, flexible way to access cars on demand, whenever they need.
2. How is Invygo disrupting car sales/car lease and car rental markets?
Eslam and Pulkit:
Transparency: The app showcases everything from the model, year, mileage, color, and features of the car you are getting so you can make an informed decision.
Convenience of getting started: You choose your car and sign for it in the app and have it delivered to you within 90 minutes. If you need servicing, want to pause your subscription, or change your car, all you have to do is place a request in the app and it’ll be picked up from you.
Customer service: In-app customer service is answered by real humans, not chatbots. It can often be difficult to get in touch with a real person when you need support from a company, but we pride ourselves on being customer satisfaction obsessed, helping our users through the steps of signing up, choosing a car, swapping and returning.
Cost of Ownership: The subscription is all inclusive, covering delivery, roadside assistance, insurance, warranty, routine service, and replacement. There is no security deposit, or hold placed on your credit card.
Commitment/Flexibility: You pay a monthly payment with the option to change cars based on your needs, or even pause your subscription after the first month and resume within 2 months whenever you’re ready to get back on the road.
3. Why the name Invygo?
Eslam and Pulkit: Invygo is a combination of the words “invigorate” and “go”
4. Who is the primary target audience?
Eslam and Pulkit: We are targeting anyone looking for an alternative to traditional car ownership, rental or leasing. Our audience can come from any nationality and tend to be early technology adopters that believe there should be a better way to get a car.
5. How does the company make money and what are the primary sources of income?
Eslam and Pulkit: The only fees involved are the one time start fee when you book a new car, and the monthly payment you make on that car. Other costs to the customers depend on the add-ons they choose, such as full insurance or additional mileage, or Salik and fines.
6. Is this a B2C model mainly? will it extend to corporate clients?
Eslam and Pulkit: Right now, we are focused on our B2C business and continuously working to improve our customer experience. However, we do hope to expand our offering to B2B clients as well once we can offer them a tailored solution to fit their needs.
7. Expect more funding? Where will this $1 million in funding be spent? Marketing? staff?
Eslam and Pulkit: We definitely expect to receive more funding as we start expanding to new markets and growing our user base. New investment rounds will fuel further geographic expansion and an investment in developing our technology stack to support many use cases for different types of customers.
8. What is the deal you made with car companies/dealerships?
Eslam and Pulkit: It’s very simple – they provide the cars and we provide the platform and customers.