Autopair raises pre-series A funding from Summit Auto Body Industry to digitise auto workshops

Santi Vajanapanich, CEO of Autopair
Santi Vajanapanich, CEO of Autopair

Autopair Co. Ltd (Autopair), a Thailand-based online automotive parts trading company that provides procurement and business management software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for automotive workshops, announced that it has raised its Pre-Series A funding round from Summit Auto Body Industry Co. Ltd, Thailand’s largest supplier of automotive parts. Summit Auto Body Industry’s participation in this funding round represents the first time the corporation has invested in an automotive technology firm.

 

The state-supported auto parts industry is highly significant in Thailand and accounts for up to 70 percent of industry revenue. Despite the slump in domestic car sales as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact on the industry has been offset by the corresponding increase in demand for car maintenance. However, independent automotive workshops have not fully capitalised on these opportunities due to high fragmentation and a reliance on traditional, inefficient operational processes.

 

“As the leader of automotive manufacturers in ASEAN, we recognise it is essential to be part of the rapid development and succession of new business models. I believe that with an uncertain future in uncertain times, the best strategy is to be part of the disruptive wave instead of standing against it,” said Kornkrit Jurangkool, President of Summit Auto Body Industry. “Autopair has demonstrated its success in digitising the automotive aftermarket industry to date, and given our connections throughout the industry and ecosystem, we believe we can help drive Autopair’s business forward.”

 

Autopair, which previously focused on offering a B2B (business-to-business) online auto parts trading platform through 29 provinces in Thailand, will use this fresh injection of funds to help approximately 1,000 independent workshops digitise their work processes through its newly launched digital business management platform. By increasing the scale and adoption of its SaaS solutions, Autopair can enhance the efficiency of the procurement processes and cost management of these workshops.

 

“Last year, the market value for car maintenance among workshops was estimated to be more than US$4 billion. Chain stores comprised 10 percent of that value, and they have now risen to 20 percent over the last three years,” said Santi Vajanapanich, CEO of Autopair. “The 80 percent share that independent workshops currently have will continue to decrease, but they can still compete if they have the technological know-how. It is Autopair’s mission to provide the digital tools necessary to enhance their operations, and the support by Summit Auto Body Industry Co underlines the importance of this mission; it will also drive the Thai automotive aftermarket industry towards the digital era.”

 

Autopair’s online auto parts trading platform and new workshop management platform are central to its digitisation ambition. The former provides a virtual inventory of parts and wholesale discounts, as well as a 90-minute contactless delivery of service parts at competitive prices across Thailand. This enables workshops to focus on providing maintenance services instead of sourcing parts.

 

The latter, their new SaaS offering, streamlines business solutions for calendar scheduling, tracking and managing labour efficiencies and margins as well as inventory management and customer relationship management (CRM) tools for estimates and invoices. With no contract, setup or installation fees, Autopair hopes that the easy implementation of these tools will enable independent workshops to remain competitive against online and chain stores.

 

Autopair, which recorded a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 385 percent in the past three years, has served workshops all over Thailand and counts industry leaders such as Bridgestone Corporation, Toyo Tires, Nitto Automotive Inc. and Nankang Tires among its clients. It aims to accelerate its efforts to cater for an estimated 10,000 independent workshops all over Thailand by 2024 and plans to expand to other fragmented auto markets in neighbouring countries, such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

Viewed : 1612