The SME Story: Ahmed Omar, CEO and co-founder of Odiggo
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The SME Story: Ahmed Omar, CEO and co-founder of Odiggo

The SME Story: Ahmed Omar, CEO and co-founder of Odiggo

E-commerce auto and spare parts platform, Odiggo, raised $2.3m in its latest seed round

Ahmed Omar, CEO and co-founder of Odiggo

Why did you decide to create Odiggo?
We answered the market need of the “do-it-for-me” generation by connecting the best fitting suppliers and car service providers to car owners. Odiggo receives the supply from the vendors, so our prices are in fact cheaper than the market price.

We noticed that car owners, especially in the UAE, have always found it very difficult and time consuming when it comes to taking care of their cars and meeting their auto needs. People spend hours looking for a car part or finding a good quality and trusted service provider to fix their cars. As car enthusiasts, we noticed a massive gap in the market for this and now our core business is filling that need for our customers and car owners.

What is the market size of the e-commerce auto spare parts business?
The global market for the auto parts and accessories manufacturing industry is currently valued at $2 trillion and it is one of the top 10 industries in the world. It is a $61bn industry in the Middle East and Africa alone, which is a brilliant opportunity for Odiggo. We aim to be the first $100bn company coming out of the region.

Can you provide us with details about your latest round of funding?
Y-Combinator, 500 Startups and PlugAndPlay have invested $2.3m in Odiggo’s latest seed round. Following this round of highly successful investments, Odiggo’s top priority will now be consistent growth. That’s the main thing, so mainly it’s focusing on technology and expanding our team in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Currently, Odiggo services over 45,000 users across three markets and works directly with over 300 merchants. [We have seen] a 40 per cent month-on-month consistent growth and 200 per cent user base increase at the start of the pandemic.

What are some of the biggest pain points you are experiencing currently?
Initially, when researching suppliers, we would find both parts of excellent quality and also low-quality items that will not work for our customers. This is because there are many options to choose from. We needed to make sure we have the right pieces and [the right] suppliers.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as an entrepreneur?
Two of the biggest mistakes I have made as an entrepreneur were not hiring leadership from the beginning, and not listening to customers from day one. The statement – “The customer is always right” – has never been truer.

What are your expansion plans and will you branch out into further product offerings/services?
We are looking not only to scale in the region, but also be the number one global player in the auto-tech space. We have exceptional team members that will definitely secure that and we are looking to bring convenience and development to the after-sales industry.

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