Australian start-up DingGo, creator of an online platform for smash repairs, today announced plans to leverage a half-a-million-dollar matched grant to expand across Australia and beyond.
The company is a recipient of the Federal Government’s Accelerating Commercialisation Grant, which aims to bring novel products, services and processes to market. DingGo will match the $248,262 Government grant dollar for dollar to make its repairer network fully national, following successful growth in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
The platform is an online marketplace that connects consumers with auto repair shops. Using their mobile, users can upload pictures and details of their vehicle damage, compare quotes from local repairers equipped for the job at hand, and the book and review their repairs.
A recent report from Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG) showed the increasing complexity of modern vehicles, including new materials and designs, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and other electronics is having a significant impact on the smash repair industry.
“The technical complexity of cars is advancing faster than the industry can keep up, making it difficult for people to find the right repairer for the job,” said Josh Sandford, Co-Founder of DingGo.
“Our platform vets and classifies the capabilities of all repairers, offering a trusted recommendation by matching reliable, skilled panel beaters with drivers’ specific needs. It also provides a level playing field for small and independent repairers to access new work, while identifying and catering for the types of repairs which are becoming more common and may require the development of new technical skills and technology.”
The initial expansion for 2020 will centre on Adelaide, Perth and Tasmania, with the company aiming to be fully national by May 2020. DingGo also aims to take its platform beyond Australian shores in due course. Currently, DingGo is available to both the general public at www.DingGo.com.au as well as to business fleets across Sydney, the Central Coast, Canberra, Brisbane and throughout Victoria.
As part of the expansion, DingGo will integrate its platform with Australian fleet management company sgfleet (ASX: SGF), which invested in the company in 2018. This will mean sgfleet’s clients can access DingGo’s platform through its existing systems.
Another key milestone of the investment will be adapting the platform to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, which the company aims to potentially leverage for international expansion.
“The smash repair industry has reached the digitise or die stage,” added Sandford. “Consumer demand for choice and the need for specialist repairers is driving this. Traditional generalist panel beaters trying to be all things to all people and survive offline will ultimately fall behind.”