LatamList – Kavak, a used car platform, recently raised a $400M funding round from SoftBank, Greenoaks, DST Global, Kaszek Ventures, QED Investors, and General Atlantic, among others.
Kavak operates as a buying and selling platform for used cars, a model that was strengthened with the reconditioning of vehicles for sale to the public in its own centers.
The startup was founded by Carlos García Ottati, Roger Laughlin, and Loreanne García in 2016 in Mexico City where it began operations with only three vehicles. With this round of investment, Kavak becomes Mexico’s first unicorn, valued at $1.1B, and prepares for its expansion into South America.
“We are very proud of what we have built, we know that this is an important milestone for us and for the entrepreneurial ecosystem, but we also know that our story is just beginning and we have a lot to build and many clients still to satisfy. We are not going to stop until we transform the automotive industry in the world,” said García Ottati, CEO of Kavak.
Kavak will start its expansion in Argentina where it recently announced the acquisition of Checkars, its Argentine equivalent. The platform will invest $10M in Checkars in the next 18 months to rebrand its points of sale, improve infrastructure, duplicate its catalog, and build a technology center similar to the one in Mexico. Brazil, which is the largest market in the region for pre-owned cars, is also in Kavak’s plans for expansion.
According to the CEO, the prospects are looking good for the sector as it recovers after the heavy blow brought on by the pandemic.
“We predict that the demand for pre-owned cars, from now until the end of the year, will be greater than what we would have had without COVID-19. Those who used public transportation before are now looking for a car, and pre-owned cars have positioned themselves as a good option,” commented García Ottati.
Kavak currently has more than 700 employees and dozens of branches nationwide, including two reconditioning centers in Lerma, State of Mexico and Guadalajara, Jalisco, as well as its headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a result of its merger with Checkars.
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