UAE’s Carasti raises $2M Bridge Round
UAE-based car subscription service Carasti is set to launch in Saudi Arabia following its recent $2M Bridge financing, preparing a Ramadan launch campaign in the Kingdom with 50% off first-month subscription.
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The UAE-based Tech startup and car subscription service Carasti has successfully raised $2M in its latest funding round. The Bridge round recorded participation from Net Ventures and Rua Growth and comes as a milestone before launching in KSA and in preps to raise their Series A.
Carasti will launch operations in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 23rd March 2022, allowing customers to subscribe to new and used cars for between 1 and 24 months for an all-inclusive subscription fee. Launching with a Ramadan offer of 50% off the first-month subscription for new Saudi subscribers, Carasti customers can gain access to a fleet of brand new and used cars that suit any lifestyle or budget for only a fixed monthly fee; meaning they face no down payments, no loans and no depreciation that typically come with buying a car. Carasti handles everything from vehicle registration, maintenance and servicing costs, roadside assistance, insurance, and delivery.
Over the years we've seen many ventures emerge with Tech solutions to disrupt traditional models across industries. Through data analytics, responsive interfaces, and in some cases AI and ML technologies, startups in EVMs have been able to leverage the notion of "Access over Ownership" in industries like Fitness, Real Estate, HR & Recruitment, and surely transport. Closing 5 rounds to cross the $6M the sports & fitness industry in the UAE championed the access model with startups like Enhance Fitness, Steppi, and Fitlov raising sizable investments to decentralize personal training and make fitness an on-demand endeavor. Similarly, in the exponentially growing Real Estate/PropTech space in MENA, observing a 200% growth in funding YoY in 2021 (excluding the $150M Mega Round closed in 2020) startups like letswork, HotDesk, and Short Stay Vacation Home Rentals have been empowering users and property owners with tech innovations to allow for the optimization of every SQM. To that perspective, Carasti is not only joining an elite group of ventures with bright ideas but is now participating in MENA's top 2 VC markets; as recorded in our MENA 2022 Venture Investment Report, the UAE & KSA accounted for 66% of all capital invested in the region over the past year.
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With an ever-growing younger population and fast-growing female driver segment, the car rental and leasing market in Saudi Arabia is anticipated to grow to US$2.5bn by 2026 based on a recent Mordor Intelligence report, and Carasti is well placed to become a market leader in the Kingdom. Claudio Esposito-Aiardo, CEO of Carasti, commented, “I’ve been visiting and doing business in Saudi Arabia for many years, and I can safely say that no country in the world is transforming as quickly or building for the future in the way that Saudi Arabia is. Carasti’s mission in Saudi Arabia is not only to democratize access to cars but also to support the transition from the internal combustion engine to alternative fuels and electric vehicles over the coming years – we are very much aligned with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia’s pledge to cut the nation’s carbon emissions to net-zero by 2060 and hence Carasti will be offering a fleet of electric vehicles that our customers can subscribe to.”
Carasti’s all-inclusive subscriptions are priced as little as SAR 1,799 per month, which covers every cost typically associated with car ownership and maintenance giving ultimate peace of mind to its customers. Carasti’s Ramadan offer can be used by entering the code “WOW50” when signing up to the Carasti app or website as a new subscriber. “After a successful 2.5 years of rapid growth in the UAE, we are now making it possible for Saudi drivers to get a car without any of the hassles of ownership; our full-subscription model looks set to become the go-to brand for the Kingdom’s automotive needs starting today and into the future.”, concluded Claudio Esposito-Aiardo.
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