South African repair startup Michanic connects clients and fleet owners in Gauteng and Cape Town with skilled, reliable and recognised mechanics. Launched in 2016, Michanic allows users to get immediate service and repair quotations from its online platform. This helps them save up to 35% over dealerships and independent garages.
Lesetja Dikgale founded the South African startup Michanic after struggling to locate a specialist repair for his car. He created the platform to offer fixed-price mobile mechanic services. This serves as a huge step forward in the new normal of auto maintenance and repair.
“It dawned on me that other people may have similar challenges. After the chat with the mechanic to go into the partnership to find him work and share on the spoils, I put together a ZAR800 (US$50) MVP that ran for over a month, and in that month we made ZAR5,000 (US$330),” Dikgale said.
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Dikgale began automating and streamlining the ancient car servicing booking processes to show product-market fit.
“Most car repairs companies tend to lie to customers to lure them into their shops. They would advertise a major service for ZAR795, and once the customer brings their car in the shop, a customer would then get a bill of over ZAR3,000,” he said.
Dikgale adds it is confusing that automobiles spend the entire day in the workshop. He believes car services should only need two hours tops. This further caused the spotting of customers not knowing the total cost of their service upfront. And, the fact that most customers rely on their automobiles to move about and can not afford to be without them for one full day.
Michanic, which has a revenue-sharing agreement with its partner mechanics, was self-funded at first. Later, it raised seed funding in 2019. According to Dikgale, the company’s operations are “currently generating just enough income to keep the lights on”, and it is seeking growth funding. Month after month, the number of people signing up has risen.
“We have processed over 30,000 quotes on our platform, with the bulk of the quotes in the last six months alone,” said Dikgale.
The South African repair startup Michanic is presently operating in Gauteng and Cape Town. In the next five years, Dikgale hopes to expand to encompass the entire country of South Africa. The platform wants to be a major participant in the aftermarket car maintenance repair sector in South Africa.
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