Singapore’s Now Web Solutions acquires Philippine auto portal Tsikot

Now Web Solutions founders and now Tsikot.com owners Renato Dayan (left) and Rael Ross.

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.

Also read: Germany’s Carmudi to use majority of $25m fund in PH

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.

Also read: India-based auto portal CarDekho enters Vietnam, PH

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.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.