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 on an auto parts store’s database. However, in Brazil, the experience is not that easy. 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 its proprietary parts identification technology, shops can find the correct items for their clients, thereby reducing costs and waste from using incorrect parts.
Since the company started in 2020, it has amassed over 200 suppliers and 1,000 mechanics on the platform, which offers over 600,000 items in 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 problems they encountered when fixing cars. They discovered 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 with one click and receive the parts in one hour.
Currently, the company operates only in the northern region of São Paulo. In early 2022, Mecanizou closed a $4 million seed round, after which its growth took off: that year, it saw a 70% increase in customers month-over-month, and its revenue rose 10x, according to Faria.
Looking to capture more of the Brazilian replacement auto parts market, which has over 120,000 mechanic shops and 40,000 suppliers, Faria said the company aims to expand to other parts of São Paulo, including the ABC Region and Guarulhos, by the end of the year.
To do that, the company last November closed a $14.5 million (R$ 76 million) Series A round, led by Monashees, with participation from Alexia Ventures, FJ Labs and Dalus Capital. The company has so far raised $18.5 million in total, including a $4 million seed round that it closed in January 2022.
In addition to expanding into other cities, the new capital will let the company focus on technology and product development, and 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.”