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Invygo and Cruise: The Emirati Startup Introducing Car Subscriptions in the Transport-tech Scene

After scoring their seed round and expanding to Saudi Arabia, we talk with the pioneers about their vision.

According to Gulf News, car sales are decreasing, while the UAE is witnessing a 50% drop in car sales since 2015. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia car sales fell by 46% between 2014 and 2018, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicles Manufacturers data.  So, consumers needed a more flexible, easy way to get a car based on their needs.

Established by Eslam Hussein and Pulkit Ganjoo, Invygo is an app-based car subscription company that offers a new way to get a car, by giving customers access to dealership verified cars, and the flexibility to drive their vehicle for as long as they want without the long term commitment needed for owning or leasing. 

With a blend of technical expertise and business school, the founders acknowledged the significant gap between today's fast-moving economy, uncertain world, and the traditional retail model being offered. Since its inception, the startup has had a significant amount of experience in the automotive industry, working in various roles for leading providers in the automotive retail space.

“We see Invygo popularising car subscription in the Middle East. As cars keep evolving faster every generation, and with so many options to choose from, the traditional concept of owning a car will no longer resonate with many drivers,” explains Hussein. “By leveraging technology, Invygo can provide an experience that makes subscription the easiest way for people in the middle east to drive a car."

The time-consuming process to go from wanting, purchasing, registering, to driving a car is too much of a hassle, along the long-term commitment required, which doesn’t fit with rapidly changing consumer needs, and the total cost of ownership considered a depreciating asset. The startup addresses this pain-point by bringing the same flexibility offered by many online subscriptions to the physical world. 

After recently closing their seed round with $1 million from international and regional VC firms and investors like William Zeqiri, CEO and co-founder of Shedul, Equitrust, Class5 Global, Kairos K50, and more, the startup aims to pump this capital into its expansion plans to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region of the Middle East, and continue solving congestion-related obstacles and provide a wiser alternative. 

“Building a live product is quite a challenge in itself. From developing our payments infrastructure to mapping dealership processes to our dealer platform to allow us to manage our operations online, our biggest challenges to date came from trying to get Invygo up and running for the first time,” says Hussein.

As innovation brings forward yet another exciting way to solve problems, the startup still poses many challenges when trying to provide a different service as they struggle to get up off their feet with launching. “However, what makes us unique is the same as what makes us different. Our goal is to improve the experience of having and obtaining a car. We will continue to work on features that will add to the flexibility and transparency Invygo offers,” says Hussein.

Through transparency and convience at optimal cost, Invygo is extending the subscription economy to the physical world, allowing them to reap the benefits of paying-as-you-go rather than owning, encouraging more entrepreneurs to rethink how people look at purchasing items. 


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