UAE: Carasti, a UAE-based car subscription platform has raised a $3M Pre-Series A funding round, led by Net Ventures with participation from Rua Growth Fund, as well as several other undisclosed investors.
Launched in November 2019, Carasti operates a flexible 1 to 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 license and EID, 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 includes registration, maintenance and servicing costs, roadside assistance, 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 kilometers on the clock, via its mini lease product. The funding round has followed triple-digit quarter-on-quarter revenue growth for Carasti since the end of the COVID-19 lockdown measures in the UAE in April 2020, with Q3 2020 posting more than a 200% increase on the previous quarter.
Claudio Esposito Aiardo, CEO of Carasti, commented: “We’re here to challenge this status quo and redefine the Car-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 added: “We are delighted to have Net Ventures and Rua Growth Fund on board, bringing with them a wealth of experience and great strategic importance is 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 join 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.
Carasti plans to use the investment to fuel growth in the UAE and implement its plans for regional expansion, starting with Saudi Arabia later in 2021.