SA’s Michanic helps you bring qualified mechanics to your door

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South African startup Michanic is connecting customers and fleet owners with trusted, qualified and vetted mechanics in Gauteng and Cape Town. 

Formed in 2016, Michanic allows users to request instant service and repair quotes from its online platform, saving up to 35 per cent compared to dealerships and independent garages in the process.

The startup was founded by Lesetja Dikgale after he struggled with finding a specialist  mechanic for his car. 

“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 told Disrupt Africa. 

Small amounts, but certainly enough to demonstrate product market fit, and Dikgale set about automating and streamlining the archaic car servicing booking processes in earnest.  

“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. 

“Secondly, a car service takes a maximum of two hours and we could not understand why the car has to be at the workshop the entire day. We saw a gap in the  market where customers will know upfront the total cost of their service, and we understood that most customers rely on their cars to get around and could not afford not having a car the entire day.”

Michanic – which enters into a revenue share arrangement with its partner mechanics, was initially self-funded, but raised seed funding in 2019. Dikgale says its operations are “currently generating just enough income to keep the lights on”, and that the startup is looking for growth capital. Uptake has been increasing month-on-month.

“We have processed over 30,000 quotes on our platform, with the bulk of the quotes in the last six months alone,” said Dikgale. 

“We are currently only operating in Gauteng and Cape Town. We are looking to expand to cover the entire South Africa in the next three-to-five years. We are looking to be a dominant player in the South African after-market car maintenance and repair market.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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