Can you tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do?
My name is Patrick Juthberg and I am from Sweden. I have a fantastic family with five great grown up children and three grandchildren. My family is still in Sweden, but my fantastic lady is moving here to Dallas. I established, Carable, a startup here in Dallas 1.5 years ago and I have been going back and forth since then, so I am really looking forward to moving here for real and leaving the jetlag behind.
I suppose I am a serial Entrepreneur with the vision on changing old processes with new technologies. I always have a focus on bringing the power and margin to the Consumer and cutting out the middle man.
What is the story behind Carable? When did you start operations in the US?
Back in 2006, I founded an InsureTech SaaS company back in Sweden focusing on the insurance claims processes for Cars. In 2010 we started to investigate if we could buy a used Car online to reimburse our customer with a Car instead of cash compensation. We found out that it is impossible to buy a used Car online (back in 2010) and that the market more or less controlled by the Car dealers. When we started to look deeper into it, we were blown away of how little value the dealer contributed with within the Car transaction and also how many Dealers that in fact was direct conniving in their relations to the Consumers. We found this to be truer amongst the independent Car dealers that more or less live by the margin of buying a used Car, washing it, and selling it back to the Consumer with a 15-20% margin.
When we did deeper studies, we immediately understood that there were five different areas that had to be addressed before it was possible to sell a used Car online with total transparency. Most important, Education. Neither the Seller nor the Buyer are skilled Car experts. Usually, this is a transaction that takes place every 2-3rd year, on a Petrol station, kicking the tire and haggling about price. The whole used Car transaction is, in fact, a conflict where the Seller wants as much as possible and the Buyer want to pay as little as possible. In the middle a used Car of which both know little or nothing about the history or quality of the vehicle. Kicking a tire and test driving it for two blocks and then do a transaction seems to be a good situation for fraudulent transactions. We addressed five areas:
Valuation – What to expect when I sell my Car and how do I know that this is the right price point for the Car.
History – A report with the Car´s documented history tells the Consumer if the Car has had severe accidents or been flooded with other problems.
Inspection – With an extensive 241-point independent Car inspection the Car becomes truly transparent for both Seller and Buyer.
Warranty – This gives us the opportunity to put a 3 month / 3 000 miles warranty on the Car giving the Buyer peace of mind driving away.
Finance – With the best possible interest and regulations, give the Buyer the right tool to buy the car of their dream.
With this fact I knew that I had to do something about it and I left my operational role in Yallotrade and started Garantibil (Warranty Car) back in Sweden. From the start, we decided to build a Peer-to-Peer online Marketplace in partnership with the best Partners/Brands on the Market for securing the transparency and quality of the Cars coming in for sale and bringing the margin back to the Consumer. Could we bring back a 15-20% margin to the Consumer? Then we had a really interesting case.
We started out in Sweden with the aim to establish in the USA. Sweden is a great test market with little over nine million people and we did all the mistakes you can ever imagine. We sat out to build the best Marketplace in the world with all the integrations and a system required to solve all the areas above. A typical Swedish approach, let´s build a totally automated Rocket System instead of the American approach, let’s build a kick-ass front end and fix the job manually in the background. After a 6-month delay, we were finally ready to launch. Started out with a 16% Sales ratio and, of course, 84% of the Customers that did not get their Car sold, were not very satisfied. Hard work chasing all the bottlenecks in the product eventually started to give the result (no, Rome was not built in one day, nor was Airbnb). Small changes in the Price communication or Auction gave surprising results and we went from 16% to 32%, from 32% to 46% to eventually reach a +80% sales ratio as best. At the same time, we had the opportunity to sign our first key Partner Contract for the US Market and the door was open.
In parallel we worked hard with the expansion plan and the sight was fixed towards the US, the number one Car market in the world and of course the hardest Market to conquer. We were lucky and had the opportunity to work with McKinsey Startup lab (today Fuel by McKinsey) to build our International Expansion plan. We signed a strategic contract on the US market and set sail. Back in 2016 we started a small Operational team in Dallas and signed a Partner Network necessary for Market launch. We changed the name from Garantibil to Carable and started to fill in the gaps in the US Business Plan.
Meantime we struggled with severe competition from Blocket and BytBil on the Swedish Market. Being under-financed which constrained our marketing and taking a too big approach to the expansion followed by a big organization and high cost. When one of our Financing Partners decided not to support the Operation, we struggled a severe blow and the Board had to take the hard decision to let the Swedish entity go, to be able to focus on the big market in the west. The Swedish Brand and Technology were sold to Volvo Car Retail and we focused 100% on the US.
What are the challenges and opportunities for Carable in the US?
There are hugh differences in culture and equality but also huge opportunities. The current value of the US used Car market is $710 billion. That is an amazing number where the biggest player (Carmax) only has 1.6% of the Market and a Market cap of $1,6 billion. We estimate that the Peer-to-Peer used Car sales conservative should be around 30%. We have also been lucky to have established Partnerships with great Brands like BlackBook for valuation, Carfax for Car history, Firestone for 241point Inspection, Mapfre for 3 month/3,000mile Warranty and MyAutoLoan for Car financing. We started to roll out in the Dallas and Houston area for a Beta test and onboarded over 500 Cars during a six-month period. During the same period, we worked hard with the Bottlenecks and ironed out the route to Market launch. Right now, we are doing the last work on our Native App and working on our seed funding to be able to launch our go to Market Plan and start our journey in the US.
What are your expectations with your SACC-Texas membership?
It brings great value both to me as an individual and for Carable as a Business member. The Network and the activities are top of the Class and there is a great ongoing Network initiative for small Businesses and Startups that I enjoy being part of. The Vision with this is to build a strong Network of Founders and small Business Entrepreneurs with the essentials for new Entrepreneurs to create and run a small Business. From Workspace, Business Essentials such as Bookkeeping/Legal to Mentorship and Funding of the Company. We also see the opportunity to establish Dallas/Texas as an alternative to California and New York.
Finally, we like to know, what are your favorite things about Texas?
I would say the People. I have been very warmly welcomed and invited to a great Network of fantastic People. The nothing is impossible mentality and pay it forward is also something I value. Further on, the weather, the food and of course the SACC-network.