Technology in the automotive industry has made huge strides in the past few years. From cars that drive themselves to rental cars that appear like magic, technology has turned to an industry that’s traditionally remained behind in the startup field – automobiles.
In a recent Inc. article “How to Buy A Car Without Leaving Home”, the editor reviewed some of the start-ups trying to address the pain of car buyers. According to StartUpHub.ai there are 63 active automobile AI start-ups in Israel, with over $927 million in funding. By 2019, there were four notable AI automotive exits with over $890 million in proceeds.
But what about consumer-focused start-ups?
Israel’s car rental and purchase system is much different than in the US, Europe, and around the world. With less than 10 million residents, the car marketplace in Israel is much smaller than most markets. It’s no surprise then that solutions tailored to auto renters and purchases haven’t been as popular as AI start-ups.
Israel is not known for its customer service, but could its start-ups usher in a new age of consumer-focused automotive technologies?
One entrepreneur trying to improve the car rental experience for consumers and rental agency owners is Robyn Moreno, from Ra’anana. She’s the VP of Sales for the CRX Group (www.gocrx.com), a SaaS for independently-owned and mid-tier rental agencies that allows them to expand their businesses via websites such as carrentalexpress.com, kayak.com, skyscanner.com, and more. With their unique positioning being focused on independent dealers, they help reduce costs for consumers by giving them more locally-based options.
Another startup is trying to help people in Australia looking to buy new cars in Australia. While consumers in Israel rely on almost identical pricing across dealerships, this is not the case in Australia or most of the world. It’s no wonder then that startups are trying to distribute knowledge in order to help consumers’ car shopping, even creating a seamlessness between their online and in-person experiences.
Consumers looking to buy or rent vehicles will see a rise in the number of startups looking to solve the pains of buying and renting cars. While there are interesting developments in countries around the world, we have yet to see them implemented in Israel. While car sharing is currently one of the most prevalent automotive consumer convenience services in Israel, similar options have been available for much longer in the United States, going as far back as the 2000’s.
While Israel’s home market for automobile rental and sales might not be the most conducive to every solution, I predict that Israeli-based businesses will address consumer needs and attempt to disrupt existing paradigms about car rental and purchase not only in Israel, but around the world.