Carffeine Secures $500M from Hanwha S&C
Carffeine Motor Cube announced that it had secured half a billion dollars in investment from Hanhwa S&C on the 24th. Hanhwa S&C plans to globalize Carffeine Motor Cube’s business model as a part of its startup accelerator business.
Carffeine, founded in August 2013, takes auto repair customer management to the cloud. Branding itself as a trustworthy platform, Carffeine attempts to standardize and bring fair prices to the South Korean auto repair services market, which is largely fragmented to this day. The company provides solutions for both sides of auto repair services:Repair Planner for drivers and Cartool for mechanics.
Drivers can use Repair Planner to communicate directly with Carffeine affiliated mechanics about their cars in service. Mechanics document and upload service reports with detailed pictures of the problems, as a way of assuring the customer that they won’t be ripped off. Around 67% of data available on the platform are pictures and videos, saving drivers from having to read technical jargon to understand their car problems. Mechanics, on the other hand, can use their own dedicated platform to keep track of their service records, as well as exchange expertise with other affiliated mechanics.
An Se Jun, CEO of Carffeine, is ambitious about entering the blue ocean market for online auto repair service platforms. He claims that the key to success in the market is to give customers command over the services they pay for. Though company earnings have yet to be disclosed, An claims that Carffeine is growing +100% annually in revenue.
Until now, the company has been collecting maintenance record data to establish standardized measure of service costs. It has already gathered over 600 thousand records. Luckily for Carffeine, starting in January 2014, the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is requiring major auto repair shops to report service records.
“Through this investment round, we are planning to set up proprietary repair shops, strengthen our platform database, and improve service management activation,” said An. “We will try our best to be a positive influence in shaping the future of the industry.”