Funding will support the roll-out of the Motokiki price comparison platform, develop new strategic partners and help grow the brand.
Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”) and the Development Bank of Wales have confirmed a £3 million equity investment in Motokiki, Britain’s first truly independent vehicle tyre comparison website, co-founded by former Confused.com MD.
The investment of £1.5 million by each funder will support Motokiki’s drive to develop new strategic partners, and fund sales and marketing initiatives to raise awareness of the brand and grow its customer base.
Motokiki’s unique comparison engine will provide a whole of market solution, comparing the price of tyres from a large range of manufacturers and suppliers, providing consumers with an impartial comparison across a wide range of retailers. Existing UK websites that provide tyre pricing information, in practice only list prices based on their own stock.
Motokiki’s innovative first-to-market platform will provide the UK’s 37 million motorists with free and impartial information on tyre prices and availability from the widest range of manufacturers and suppliers. Visitors to the site will be able to make informed purchasing decisions based on personal preferences such as price, location, and urgency. Customers will also be able to review and compare key performance information of tyres such as fuel efficiency, noise levels and water displacement capabilities, allowing them to view the best deals easily and quickly using their computer, smartphone or tablet.
Co-founder and CEO of Motokiki, Debra Williams, has a proven track record in establishing and successfully growing price comparison websites (PCWs), having previously been the Managing Director of Confused.com and CEO of Tesco Compare. During her time at Confused.com Debra grew the brand from breakeven to a valuation of £700 million. Motokiki co-founder Richard Bailey brings his knowledge of the tyre industry to the team. Richard founded DriveRight in 2001, which has developed a database platform that aggregates tyre data within the tyre industry from across seven countries.
The tyre industry has been slow to adopt e-commerce practices, partly due to the unique requirements of tyres such as sizing requirements and performance characteristics. Motokiki will pull data from a number of sources and companies to overcome this.
The website, www.motokiki.com, is designed to be a quick and convenient way for customers to easily access accurate information on the range of tyres that best suit their vehicle. Consumer research found that more than 70% of tyre buyers research their product options online prior to purchase. Motokiki will now make the process easier and quicker as users simply need to enter a vehicle registration and postcode and will be able to instantly compare a wide range of top branded tyres at the best prices.
The global tyre aftercare market is large and forecast to rise to $128.2 billion by 2020, with tyres sold online, the fastest growing component, expected to account for 20% of all sales in 2020, up from 13% in 2016 as they continue to take market share from local garages. In the UK alone the market is estimated to be worth £3 billion.
Melanie Goward, Investment Director at Maven, said: “Motokiki is a novel and disruptive price comparison business, which is meeting the needs of motorists and filling a clear gap in the market. The highly experienced management team, founded by respected leaders in both the price comparison sector and tyre data supply industries; coupled with Motokiki’s first mover advantage, puts the business on a very strong footing from the outset.
“Maven’s funding comes at an opportune time where online tyre retail is relatively new and still in its infancy. With a highly experienced senior team, a proven track record in the price comparison sector and a genuinely unique solution Motokiki is perfectly placed to supply a clear market demand.”
Leanna Davies, Portfolio Development Manager at the Development Bank of Wales, said: “Having previously worked with Richard Bailey and Debra Williams, we were delighted to explore early opportunities to help fund the commercial launch of Motokiki with an equity stake.
“As co-funder, we are pleased to have introduced Maven and now be working together to ensure the successful launch of this exciting new business as a unique price comparison engine. Motokiki will transform the way in which we all buy tyres and further strengthen Wales’ position as a leader in the price comparison sector whilst creating new jobs in the Port Talbot Enterprise Zone. It is a perfect fit for our Wales Business Fund and we wish the team every success.”
Debra Williams, CEO at Motokiki, added: “This is a big day for the Motokiki team and the country’s motorists. The investment by the Development Bank of Wales and Maven will enable us to transform the way consumers buy tyres and help them make informed choices about one of the most important safety aspects of a vehicle.
We’ve spent the past year developing and testing Motokiki, to create the UK’s first truly impartial ‘whole of market’ comparison site for tyres. We not only give people far more choice and comprehensive information on price, but we also provide vital facts on other important aspects of tyre safety and efficiency. Today’s investment by Maven and Development Bank of Wales will enable us to bring a transformational and disruptive service to the tyre industry and the country’s motorists.”
Funding for the deal came from the Wales Business Fund, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.