The SME Story: Claudio Esposito-Aiardo, co-founder and CEO of Carasti
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The SME Story: Claudio Esposito-Aiardo, co-founder and CEO of Carasti

The SME Story: Claudio Esposito-Aiardo, co-founder and CEO of Carasti

Dubai-headquartered car subscription startup, Carasti, recently secured $3m in funding

Claudio Esposito-Aiardo Carasti

What is the concept behind Carasti?
Cars were designed to provide us with additional freedom in our everyday life – but with multiple disjointed services to deal with, such as bank loans, insurance, dealerships, registration and large down-payments, it feels like car ownership in its current form is actually holding us back. Carasti subscriptions alleviate all of these headaches, with flexible 1 to 24 [month] terms and no down-payments, allowing customers to switch cars with all-inclusive rates to suit budgets and lifestyles.

Can you give us an overview of your business?
Carasti operates across the UAE with many fleet partners, ensuring we have the widest selection of cars available on subscription in the market. We are seeing double- to triple-digit revenue growth quarter-on-quarter and have a 17 [member] team, all based out of our Dubai HQ.

What are the biggest challenges you currently face in scaling your business?
Having an asset-free business model is both a blessing and a curse; a blessing as we don’t have the risk of owning the cars and managing huge fleets, but also a curse as we scale the business, since we do not yet have full control of how our partners can support that growth operationally.

Tell us about the latest Pre-Series A funding round and what it will be used for?
We closed a $3m Pre-Series A round with Net Ventures and Rua Growth Fund, who bring with them a wealth of experience and strategic support given their focus on building online marketplaces, including in the automotive space.

The funds will be used to continue hiring best-in-class talent, fuel our growth in the UAE, expand into Saudi Arabia, and ultimately solidify our position as leaders in the car-as-a-service space in the MENA region.

What are the expansion plans for the business?
For 2021 we are focused on growing our UAE market share and launching in Saudi Arabia. We have a wider product and geographical expansion plan, which for now we will be keeping confidential.

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