We don’t always have to look at Silicon Valley to find the next giant tech company. Tech companies can emerge anywhere in the world. Tech companies do not always have to create a new market segment; they can venture into an existing one and become the biggest player in this segment.
Saygin Yalcin created the biggest online car selling platform in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Yalcin created and launched Sellanycar.com in the UAE in September 2013, and the service is now the biggest car buying service in the UAE — and the Middle East. The company expanded to the German market with plans to expand to Europe and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa.
Sellanycar.com was not Yalcin’s first startup; he had success before in other market sectors. However, sellanycar.com is his biggest success. The startup catapulted Yalcin to celebrity status in Dubai, Turkey, and Germany. The sellanycar.com CEO is not just a successful entrepreneur; he is also a successful social media personality and an influencer.
He has his own take on business, investment, and influencing. So, now is the time to ask,
Who is Saygin Yalcin?
Saygin Yalcin is a Dubai based German entrepreneur of Turkish origin. He was born on April 25th, 1984, in Bremen (Germany) to Turkish migrants. The straight-A student graduated from the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management and moved to Dubai in 2009 with only his backpack and a plan to start an online fashion business in Dubai.
He started Sukar.com in 2009, a Middle East online shopping club that offers deals from designer clothes snd lifestyle brands. Sukar.com was a successful business in the UAE after the economic crisis. Yalcin sold Sukar.com to Souq.com, the Middle East version of Amazon, in 2012. The deal gave Yalcin a stake in Souq.com, and he became a partner in Souq.com. A year later, he started Sellanycar.com, his most successful company yet.
You may have heard of Souq.com before. Amazon acquired Souq.com in 2017 for a whopping $580 Million, making this the largest Amazon acquisition outside of the U.S.
Sellanycar.com promises its users the ability to sell their car guaranteed in 30 minutes.
They offer free and instant online car evaluation, free car inspection, and a guarantee to purchase any car within 30 minutes — they pay the user immediately and take care of all the necessary paperwork.
How do they do it?
Sellanycar.com is the largest and most established car buying service in the UAE. They have the purchasing power to offer a competitive price for the car and buy it straight away. The seller has to drop the car in one of 25 established branches in the UAE for the final check-up.
After the physical inspection, the inspection report is uploaded online for a live auction with more than 1000 registered car dealerships. The highest bid is shared with the seller. If he agrees, the selling process is finalized, and the money is transferred immediately with no hiccups to the bank account.
Sellanycar.com does not charge the seller any fees. It apparently charges a buying fee or a subscription fee for the car dealership registered on their platform.
The company has already expanded to Germany, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. However, it is yet to establish many drop-off points, as it has in the UAE.
When asked, Yalcin stated that he has big expansions dreams for the start-up. Sellanycar.com wants to soon buy 10% of all cars in the Arabian peninsula and 5% of all cars in the expanded Arab World. Moreover, Yalcin has plans to expand the Startup in Europe outside of Germany.
In the latest evaluation, the startup was evaluated at $1 Billion.
You might ask yourself, how is sellanycar.com a tech startup? The platform allows the company not to hold any inventory. The inspection report is uploaded immediately to the platform and into a live auction where it is sold immediately. The platform transferred traditional car business to a stock exchange for cars, where real-time market coordination and liquidity are used. Think of it as StockX for cars.
Businessman or social media superstar?
Yalcin is not your typical CEO. He launches a new startup every month, and he built a social media influencer persona. He has over 1 million YouTube subscribers, 45 million total views on his 92 videos on the platform, and 711K Instagram followers.
He believes that CEOs nowadays cannot rely solely on traditional PR and marketing. He believes social media “influencer” marketing is vital today, and many CEOs do not utilize this new marketing opportunity. He saw a reach for his company on social media, and he utilized it. This way, his company has a face that people can trust and relate to.
I don’t believe that people follow brands. They follow the people that lead those brands. — Saygin Yalcin
There are two types of entrepreneurs: the one who dig the raw diamond out of the mine, and the one who turn it into a piece of jewellery. I’m the first guy; I build it to a level where it gets acquired or becomes self-sustainable. — Saygin Yalcin
Saygin Yalcin even produces his own version of an entrepreneurship reality online show called Startup Hero.
Startup hero is a platform to connect aspiring entrepreneurs with mentors and investors from the region. The show acknowledges the gap in the region between entrepreneurs seeking funds, mentoring, exposure, and investors looking for a promising opportunity.
Startup hero received over 10K applications. Yalcin checked each application before it is either rejected or taken into the next steps. Regional startups are fighting for funds among each other and with European and Silicon Valley startups. Regional startups have to de-risk their startups to become more attractive for investors.
In the end, Saygin Yalcin is a remarkable entrepreneur. He understands that modern influencer marketing is essential to succeed in the new social media age. He is not shy to show his success on social media, and he shares his success story with everybody to inspire them.
Sellanycar.com is a Dubai-based startup that has reached a $1 Billion valuation, and it is still going strong. The startup did not expand immediately to neighboring countries and markets; it took a slower expansion path. The move was studied and considered thoroughly.
In the last years, two large acquisitions took place for Dubai based companies:
- Amazon acquired souq.com for $580 million in 2017
- Uber acquired Careem for $3.1 billion in 2019
will we see further startups and global players emerging from the Middle East?
Sources to read more:
* Saygin Yalcin: Businessman? Or social media superstar?
* Dubai-based used car marketplace SellAnyCar.com raises $35 million for Saudi expansion
* Wie ein Bremer in Dubai zum Milliarden-Unternehmer wurde
* Dieser deutsche Gründer will aus Dubai die Auto1 Group angreifen
* Souq.com’s CEO on Building an E-Commerce Powerhouse in the Middle East
Walid Al Otaibi -WAO- is a top writer in Gaming. He works at an engineering company in Germany. He comes from a multicultural background and is located in Germany since 2003. He is writing about Arab Culture, Multiculturalism, Finance, and Trending topics.