Mycar.kz: from a startup to a company changing the automotive market in Kazakhstan
Mycar website and applications.kz appeared in Kazakhstan's Internet space at the end of 2020. The company started its activity as a digital startup and almost immediately became a member of the international technopark of IT startups Astana Hub. At first it was a website with ads for buying and selling used cars. For the year Mycar.kz has grown into a successful developing company with a whole range of useful services in one application. Technical Director Madi Kabdrash talks about how the digital infrastructure of the project grew and developed.
- Madi, how did the idea of creating such a startup come about? What was the starting idea for the project?
- I, like all motorists, often face certain questions about the car. Eg: how to choose the right new car? How to sell the current one quickly? And if it's a used car, what kind of purchase process is safe and convenient? And much more. That is why we wanted to create a product that would affect almost all areas of the country's automotive market, providing useful services in a convenient and secure form through a single application. We want to make the automotive market transparent and comfortable, reduce the risks of unforeseen expenses and unforeseen situations, give users useful knowledge, including with the help of our autoblogs, and offer financial products with the best conditions. We create services for the people, and check their usefulness and relevance for ourselves.
To date, we have already completely left the startup standards. This is a full-fledged group of companies, which includes: 4 multifunctional car centers Mycar.kz , of which 2 are located in Almaty, one each in the cities of Nur-Sultan and Shymkent; the business automation system for Mycar Pro dealerships; the Mycar Prime mileage car verification program; the Mycar Finance microfinance organization, which ranks 2nd in terms of a portfolio among MFIs in the Republic of Kazakhstan and a mobile application that combines all directions into a single superapp - Mycar.kz
- What difficulties did you encounter during the implementation of the startup and how were you able to overcome them?
- First, in order to implement our idea, we turned to IT specialists in Russia. However, due to the fact that they were not familiar with our market, there were some difficulties in working. As a result, we decided to create our own internal team of local guys. We started to expand the staff independently without the help of HR. This was also not easy for us, because it is very difficult to find good specialists, especially loyal ones. But thanks to our friends and acquaintances, we managed to recruit about 15 new first-class employees to the team.
In addition, at the beginning of our journey, thanks to the support of the International Technopark of IT Startups Astana Hub, we managed to reduce our financial expenses. There we also found a specialist who helped us with information security. In general, Astana Hub is a great platform that gives young startups the opportunity to realize their ideas. Astana Hub is a big engine in the development of the IT industry in Kazakhstan, because they provide support, provide all the necessary information to young startups. Young people often do not understand how business processes occur, they may have problems with financial literacy, accounting, and Astana Hub mentors, promotes, helps.
- Madi, what are you most proud of in your project?
Most of all, I am proud of our team, with whom we can solve any problem. Everyone here strives to contribute to the change of the automobile market of Kazakhstan, and not only. The team was assembled with great difficulty, all employees were selected for their unique qualities. Today we have 130 people. And the belief in the success of the project is what unites us.
I am also proud that we are a Kazakhstani brand. Mycar.kz has become exactly what we wanted to become - a real people's ecosystem that helps change the automotive market for the better.
Another of our pride is the development of the entire product. Despite the fact that there were already leaders in the market, we were not afraid to come out with our product and declare ourselves. Brought a fresh look at the market.
- And finally, tell us about your achievements for 2021 and plans for 2022.
We have restarted our Mycar application.kz on iOS and Android only in May 2021, and by December our figures exceeded all expectations: more than 220,000 downloads in 8 months, 940,000 sessions and more than 3,600,000 ad views. Over the entire period, over 70,000 ads were created on our platform.
Also last year we launched a franchise business model in the regions of Kazakhstan. The first car center for the Mycar franchise.kz started working in Shymkent. This year we have already decided on partners in a number of regions and business plans are being worked out. We hope that by 2023 our network will be able to cover all regions of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
In addition, we found that the issues of convenience and security concern not only individuals, but also business in general. Thus, we developed Mycar Pro in parallel. We believe that in the near future the system will become an integral part of the car business of every dealer and car center. To date, we have already connected 25 dealerships and car centers Mycar.kz , which gave us a base of 85,000 cars and 92,000 customers. For 2022, we plan to increase all indicators several times.