The cost of owning a car, for many reasons, has increased.
Supply pressures, among other things, are forcing consumers to seek affordability in parking, insurance and beyond.
Founded in 2016, Way.coma great fintech app for car ownership, gives consumers the tools to save money.
Benzinga spoke with the founder and CEO Binoo Girija to learn more about the company’s $10 million fundraising via a SAFE note led by Agnus Capital, as well as visions for the future.
Benzinga: Nice to meet you Binu. Do you want to start with an introduction?
Binu Girija: I’m one of the co-founders of Way.com. We started in 2015 and before that I had a few startups.
Some of them failed while others I quit. It was, overall, a great experience and I’m starting to see some lights at the end of the tunnel with this fourth adventure.
That said, we make cars affordable for everyone.
I think most people don’t realize that they spend close to $9,000 on auto expenses every year. If you look at the US national average, salaries are around $32,000.
When it comes to car expenses, you spend roughly 30% of your salary.
What we are doing is we are trying to reduce spending on cars. We make mobility affordable, rewarding and fully digital.
How do you approach this adventure differently?
In my previous organizations, I was more focused on the technology side. However, in this new organization, which is Way.com, I am focusing more on the business side.
Thanks to this, we have been able to increase our revenue by more than 100% year over year, which makes us financially very healthy.
In the past five years alone, we have reached nearly $200 million in gross sales and we are looking forward to ending this year with $300 million in gross sales.
We started only 14 months ago, so with $100 million in revenue, we’re probably one of the most capital efficient companies in Silicon Valley.
When the application is downloaded, what appears?
When you download the app, you can find a few services like parking, car insurance, car financing, and gas and car wash savings.
All of these are meant to save at least 10% to 20% in terms of average monthly car expenses.
We have partnered with over 150 insurance companies and are one of the fastest growing insurtechs in the USA.
I saw the news that Way.com had raised $10 million in funds led by Agnus Capital with participation from Gokul Rajaram, Manik Gupta and L+R Ventures. It must be something you’re pretty proud of. Tell me more about this event.
We have board members from Pinterest Inc. (NYSE: PINS) and a formerUber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) product manager participating in this cycle.
We’re going to spend some of the money on acquisitions and maintaining our first-mover advantages.
Six months or more on the line. Where do you want to be?
We are excited about the growth.
Gas prices are going up and that will drive people to buy electric vehicles, which will benefit Way.com as we will also help people make payments for electric vehicles in our system.
We will also help bring certainty to EV travel over longer distances.
Right now, if I wanted to take a Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) vehicle to Los Angeles from Silicon Valley, I wouldn’t. I may not be sure to find EV charging stations in the middle.
How is regulatory innovation affecting your business?
That’s not really the case. We are purely a market.
Do you think you are an acquisition target?
We have many more things to do.
From a product roadmap perspective, we’ve only got months filled and we have an easy way to get half a billion in revenue over the next three years.
Why the name Way.com?
I believe in building brands when it comes to building businesses.
We literally paid $350,000 for Way.com and got a $10 million offer from one of Silicon Valley’s most popular internet companies.
If I were to create a brand, in the future, I wouldn’t need to spend much more money on Alphabet Inc.– ownership (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) of Google advertisements, for example.
I prefer to invest in a brand, then monetize.
Any advice for new entrepreneurs?
Tell your loved ones that you are going to venture out and, for the next three years, ask them not to disturb you.
It’s a journey and you have to decide whether you want to do it or not. Three years. Head down. Continue.
As soon as you launch the idea, ask yourself if you bring value. If people find it interesting, keep pushing. If he needs a decent job, you need to get out of it immediately.
The money will come.
Do you have anything else to tell us before we conclude today?
Recently I read an article about rising loan repayments and rising gas prices. In fact, we’re going to launch another program in June where, for every gallon, we’re going to give consumers 60 cents back.
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