Muscat: Muscat: Oman’s young entrepreneur Hassan Jaffar Al Lawati, one of the co-founders of Carzaty, along with Marwan Chaar, have taken their company, an online platform to search, compare, buy and finance new and assured used cars, to a new level after the homegrown regional player merged with Latin America’s most valuable startup Kavak.
On Wednesday, Kavak announced the launch of its operations in Oman and the UAE, as the first step of its expansion plans in the GCC with Saudi Arabia to follow soon.
Carzaty was founded in Oman at the end of 2018 by ex-McKinsey consultant Lawati and Harvard Business School alumnus Chaar.
The duo identified an enormous regional opportunity after recognising the challenges involved in buying or selling a used car and the commercial inefficiencies surrounding the industry.
Kavak is the market-leading tech and data-driven platform for used cars at a current valuation of $8.7 billion. Founded in 2016 by Carlos Garcia Ottati, Kavak has expanded into a global player with a presence in 10 countries.
Following the launch of Turkey in July 2022, Kavak has now entered the GCC by merging with Carzaty to fast-track growth across the region.
Kavak plans to invest $130 million over the next two years to establish the largest used car operation in the Gulf region with more than 1,000 employees, and the largest vehicle reconditioning centres in the GCC.
Speaking about Carzaty’s early journey and the future with Kavak, co-CEO of Kavak GCC, Lawati said, “When we launched Carzaty in Oman we were problem-solving for the immediate market needs - to create a data-driven business that could best address customer demands with a strong focus on improving the customer journey. With an investment from the Omani government, we were equipped to build the foundations of our business locally and expand into the UAE which acted as our launch pad to scale.
“As we start this new chapter with our colleagues at Kavak, we are excited to bring our local market knowledge to their global playbook as we double down on Oman and the UAE and expand further into KSA and the rest of the GCC.”
As part of its operations in GCC, Kavak has invested in building a 15,000 sqm reconditioning centre in Dubai - when fully operational the facility will employ 150 expert mechanics and staff and will handle a monthly capacity of 1,300 vehicles including refurbishment, servicing, and repairs under warranty.
On Kavak’s entry into the region, Carlos Garcia Ottati, Global CEO of Kavak said, “The GCC region represents a massive untapped opportunity for Kavak. With our unmatched customer service centres and vehicle quality assurance, we are excited to show customers what a pleasant and rewarding experience purchasing a used car can and should be. With our commitment to investing $130 million into the GCC over the next two years, we are excited to bring customers a new level of customer experience as well as a wealth of employment opportunities in the region. Marwan and Hassan are the perfect matches to help bring local insights so we grow the business at scale in a meaningful and lasting way.”