Car classifieds portal Carmudi announced its new app for the Indonesian market last night, throwing its hat into the country’s mobile ring. This is part of its global initiative geared towards revolutionizing the way consumers shop for cars in emerging markets. Co-founder and managing director, Stefan Haubold explains, “With Carmudi, we provide a service similar to online dating, except with cars. We want to change people’s habits and how they think about shopping for cars and motorcycles.”
In short, Carmudi enables users to buy or sell new and used cars, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles online. Users range from individual vehicle buyers to some of the larger automotive dealers across Indonesia. Carmudi transactions take place between two interested parties, and the website does not get involved as the middleman between payments, or act as an escrow service. Haubold explains how Carmudi plans to monetize: “We will charge the dealers a fee for placing their listings with us, we will charge individual users a small fee for additional features on their accounts, and we will sell advertising on Carmudi.”
Local dealers and agents benefit from a credible platform in which to place their business. They’ll be able to source clients from all across the archipelago as opposed to being confined to their regional markets. The site features photos, updated listings, detailed product descriptions, reports, and rankings on each vehicle listed. The mobile app provides all the same data, but puts the entire Carmudi experience in the user’s pocket.
At a glance, Carmudi is not doing anything different from local competitors at Mobile123 and mobilbekas. But Haubold explains that when it comes to having the best possible team with the best possible skill set, Carmudi has the upper hand. “The local players have been around for years, whereas we’ve only been here since January and look at our progress compared to theirs,” he says. “Our employees come in early and leave late because they’re so dedicated to the business we’re building. We know cars. We love cars. That’s what we do.”
Haubold flew into Jakarta yesterday afternoon to mark Carmudi’s app launch in Indonesia. At the Locanda Food Voyage in South Jakarta’s Panin Building, he offered a sneak peak into the mobile platform. The event also provided exclusive automotive and online industry insights. Haubold, alongside Carmudi’s managing director for Indonesia Wouter van der Kolk, also revealed the company’s plans for scaling up its operation in Southeast Asia.
Carmudi is one of Rocket Internet’s high-performing global brands, with sister branches in similar economies to that of Indonesia, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the Philippines. “Indonesia is perhaps our most valuable market,” Haubold says. “The population and the growing economy alone are what make Indonesia attractive for us.”
Carmudi officially launched in October 2013, but as of March, the company has penetrated 11 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, signifying a high level of confidence for the startup on behalf of Rocket Internet and the overall success of Carmudi’s testing phases. Haubold says car dealers are getting more traffic from the app and hopes his site will be one of the top online business within five years.
Carmudi is also showing it can be clever with its marketing strategies. On Wednesday, July 9, the company announced it would host a Football Mania event in Pakistan, one in which the winners of its tournament would win tickets to the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil. Referring to upcoming local events and surprises from Carmudi, Haubold says, “Indonesia will just have to wait and see.”Editing by Terence Lee