ONLINE vehicle marketplace Carmudi sees strong potential for online sales in the Philippines because of the growing demand for cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles.
“We see a huge potential in the Philippine market for this kind of business because of the growing demand for vehicles,” Subir Lohani, Carmudi Philippines Managing Director, told reporters on Monday in a roundtable meeting.
Carmudi recently raised $25 million (P1.12 billion) to strengthen its operations in the Philippines and other markets in Asia and Latin America.
At present, Carmudi Philippines has a total vehicle posting of 25,000 units and has built up 900 dealers within a year.
Carmudi Philippines launched in January 2014, the fourth country in Asean that Carmudi operates in, the other three being Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Lohani cited the Philippines’ other advantages as an online marketplace — its 100-million people and a growing internet population, mostly in the mobile platform.
More than 90 percent of its clients are commercial dealers such as banks, car companies, and car dealers while around 5 percent are individual users.
“We see that the next growth area is in tapping private sellers. Of course we want to ensure quality and reliability, so in order to do that, we have to have checks and balances to limit as much as we can fake things and fraud on the website. As we do now when people and private individuals post vehicles, sometimes they are a little bit unsure, so we do LTO (Land Transportation Office) verification via SMS to cross reference the plate number,” Lohani said.
Even if the customer-to-customer (C2C) market is expected to expand, Lohani said car deals through banks will remain stable because of customers’ confidence in transacting with banks than with a private individual.
Carmudi is part of the Rocket Internet portfolio, which is also behind other online sites such as Lazada and Zalora.