Now It Will Be Us Picking InvestorsMOTORK, THE AUTOMOTIVE STARTUP FOUNDED BY MARCO MARLIA, DRIVES ON TOP OF THE ITALIAN MARKET BUT IS NOW BETTING ON INTERNATIONALIZATION
"In the equity round three years ago, searching for investors was really tough. The Italian market, in which MotorK was already a player, counted for little and international investors were not interested. The future B series round should be easier, because today we are now an established company which is now on the radar of many investors. We therefore have a list of people we can contact and this time it will be us choosing.” Marco Marlia, 40 years old with a Bocconi degree in finance, is founder and CEO of MotorK, which owns DriveK, the online platform of price comparisons for cars and digital consultancy for dealers and manufacturers who want to make the most of the potential of the web.
"When we started out, the automotive industry was still very much traditional: a large presence in the real-world economy but a small one in the digital economy; the threshold for market entry was therefore low, so that companies without large starting capital could enter it,” the executive recalls. The entrepreneurial project, the business plan and the right strategies have fast brought MotorK to the top of the domestic market, attracting €10 million in investments and laying the foundations for expanding beyond national borders.
"Today our biggest challenge is internationalization," says Marlia. "In Italy we have reached the maturity stage and now we are trying to extend and adapt our model to key foreign markets. We have opened simultaneously in several markets because the car industry works according to an EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) geographic perspective; we are facilitated by the fact we are expanding into a fairly homogeneous industry, where relations between car manufacturers, dealers and consumers do not change much from country to country ". The new phase requires new capital and MotorK is warming up the engines for a new round of investment. "It's a delicate step because we need to look for smart money," the CEO argues and concludes: "The right partners bring added value, if only because they force you to be rigorous and disciplined, to do your homework, in short".
by Emanuele Elli