Singapore-based Now Web Solutions has acquired Tsikot.com, a top online automotive company in the Philippines, for an undisclosed amount.
Australian entrepreneurs Rael Ross and Renato Dayan, who head Now Web Solutions, said, they will re-launch Tsikot’s classifieds and revamp the forum into a social media style solution for cars and technology. Tsikot recently added an automotive news feed feature.
The acquisition will result in a merger between the Tsikot and the CarsNow platform, which Dayan launched in the Philippines in 2015.
“We are working to revamp Tsikot, bring a new user experience and provide high end technology for our users,” Dayan said.
Tsikot, a colloquial term for ‘car’ in the Philippines, is touted as the pioneer in the local online automotive space. Set up in 2002, it was originally created as a forum, with the portal being a well-known brand in the Philippines.
Back in 2011, MIH or majority owners of Sulit.com.ph which is now OLX, reportedly attempted to acquire Tsikot for P100 million but the deal fell through.
Both Ross and Dayan expect Tsikot’s acquisition could change the online automotive landscape in the Philippines.
Ross runs KSK Finance & Private Equity, which has Australia’s largest factoring company in its portfolio (Australian Factoring Company), while Dayan is the technology director of Light Media, a prominent Melbourne-based technology company servicing government agencies and established businesses.
Ross, meanwhile, noted they are revitalizing the established brand, providing better services to the community in line with the new culture and customer expectations.
Both Australian entrepreneurs quoted reports citing the Philippines as a hot spot for startups with its booming economy growing over 7.5 per cent per year. In addition, car sales in the country have been growing steadily over 24 per cent per year, according to CAMPI or Chamber of Automotive Manufactures of the Philippines.
The new Tsikot owners believe there is a great opportunity to re-organise the fragmented automotive market in the Philippines. iCar Asia, the other large player in the region, operates in three countries – Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.