If you’re a car maintenance do-it-yourselfer in the United States, it’s pretty easy to find auto parts with a simple internet search or of an auto parts store’s database. However, in Brazil, the experience is not the same. Mecanizou is out to change that.
The São Paulo–based startup is infusing data intelligence into the auto parts market to create a database connecting mechanic shops and resellers to automotive parts suppliers. Using proprietary parts identification technology, shops can find the correct items for their clients, thereby reducing costs and waste from incorrect parts.
Since the company started in 2020, it has amassed over 200 suppliers and 1,000 mechanics using the platform, which offers over 600,000 items in a virtual stock, Ian Faria, Mecanizou’s co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch.
Faria and co-founder André Simões started Mecanizou during the global pandemic after seeing that mechanical services were considered an essential activity. They spoke with over 70 mechanics to learn how they operate and what their problems were in being able to fix cars. What they discovered was that there is a vast supply chain involved, but it has not evolved digitally.
“There are over 200 million SKU parts in Brazil, but if you try to look up a part, it is not digitized, so 10 years ago you might have called the retailer directly, or more recently, used WhatsApp,” Faria said. “Tech for us is the only way to connect mechanics with the supply chain.”
Here’s how it works: The mechanic types in the vehicle identification number, the plate of the car and name of the parts and Mecanizou answers with the parts, code and the price. Mechanics can make a purchase in one click and receive the parts in one hour.
Currently, the company operates in the northern region of São Paulo. In early 2022, Mecanizou closed on a $4 million seed round after which its growth took off — 70% month over month with the company growing in revenue 10x in 2022, according to Faria.
Looking to capture more of the market — Faria said the Brazilian replacement auto parts market has over 120,000 mechanic shops and 40,000 suppliers — it is his and the company’s goal to expand to other regions of the city, including the ABC Region and Guarulhos, by the end of the year.
To do that, the company went after a new round of funding last August, closing on $14.5 million (R$ 76 million) in Series A financing, led by Monashees, in November. The firm was joined by Alexia Ventures, FJ Labs and Dalus Capital. The company has now raised $18.5 million in total, including a $4 million seed round closed in January 2022.
In addition to expanding into other cities, the new capital will enable the company to focus on technology and product development and to start delivering parts itself.
“There are a lot of things we want to do as we increase the number of mechanics and distributors we work with,” Faria said. “We want to create algorithms and integrations to help them digitize and create a better ecosystem for the automotive industry.”