Sydney startup DingGo, which connects drivers to independent panel beaters for private repairs, has raised a round of seed funding led by strategic investor SG Fleet Group.
The startup did not disclose how much was raised, however stated that DingGo is now valued at $3 million after less than a year in the market.
Launched early last year, DingGo allows drivers to connect with independent repairers without needing to involve insurers; this is particularly handy, DingGo believes, because damage repairs can often cost less than insurance excess.
The strategic investment from SG Fleet, a fleet management company, will see the two work to create an online portal for SG Fleet customers.
Shaun Janks, cofounder and CEO of DingGo, said that given insurance excess for fleet vehicles in particular is usually higher than the average excess, private repairs make more sense – but finding the right repairer can be a challenge.
“Typically, SMBs are opting in to the corporate fleet model, and when accidents happen, it’s the employee who is tasked with finding competitive repairer quotes. DingGo will become a go-to portal for them to quickly and easily find a solution,” Janks said.
Robbie Blau, CEO of SG Fleet, added, “DingGo provides a great customer experience and is truly unique in the market. It’s an innovative approach that we believe can add a lot of value to our fleet customers and save them lots of time and stress.”
The platform works by allowing drivers to upload photos and descriptions of the damage to their vehicle. Independent panel beaters can then assess and send them quotes, with the driver then able to decide which works best for them.
The startup is working in a significant market; the motor vehicle repair market is a $6.7 billion industry, with $2.2 billion going to private and non-preferred insurance repairs across around 11,000 independent repair shops across the country.
Currently servicing Sydney, DingGo saw a jump in customers in December following a big hailstorm: the startup reported a 309 percent increase in revenue between November and January, and an increase of 343 percent in site traffic.
Image: the DingGo team. Source: Supplied.