Sulit to Close Pinoy Auto Trader on Friday, February 7, 2014

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Recently celebrated as one of the first success stories of the new Philippine startup scene and told in an article by Co-Founder Christopher ‘Frankie’ Franks exclusively for theBobbery, Philippine startup Pinoy Auto Trader announced on its Facebook page that the service is to cease all activities on February 7, 2014.

pinoy-auto-trader-closes

We will be officially closing the Pinoy Auto Trader website and all related business operations by February 7, 2014.

Our website will still be up until the said date to provide our members time to move their data to our mother company, Sulit.com.ph. Make sure to check out their fan page too!

You may send an e-mail to the Sulit Support Team at support@sulit.com.ph to receive any immediate assistance that you require.

The closure of the popular Philippine car classifieds on steroids service is part of a year long refocus by Sulit.com.ph on consolidating its position as leader in the C2C space in the Philippines in 2014.

The company recently announced that the local OLX platform merged with Sulit.com.ph, consolidating all classifieds in one platform, launched Property24 in the Philippines in the second half of January 2014, and also drew the ire of many of its users due to its redesigned, now manual, ads approval process which it announced in November 2013.

RJ David, Co-founder and Managing Director of Sulit said this was the most difficult thing he had to do at Sulit so far. But also shared 2014 will bring more Sulit announcements.

Pinoy Auto Trader Co-founders Christopher ‘Frankie’ Franks and Daniel Scott, were understandably candid but also told us that they moved on already and have started working on a new project. Biggest regret for them was the loss of a solid, and hard worked for, brand as well as the knowledge that Pinoy Auto Trader was the only viable, and fastest growing, platform integrating both C2C and B2C solutions for petrol heads and both car buyers and car dealers.

Pinoy Auto Trader had agreements with more than 1,000 dealerships across the Philippines.

Right now classifieds in the Philippines are generally still an uncluttered mess, the Wild Wild West worse than your average tubero pole, and Pinoy Auto Trader was one of the first successful solutions and dominated its car vertical.

While people may argue that the startup was acquired too soon, at a too early stage, Franks and Scott were hopeful about the opportunities offered to them by Sulit. But little could they foresee the switch in focus for Sulit in 2014 directed by South African group Naspers.

We have long lamented the state of Philippine classifieds and are confident that 2014 will see several new local solutions tackling online classifieds. Whether Naspers will go on a Merger & Kill spree is to be seen but there is no doubt that together with Ayos Dito’s growth in 2013 and early 2014, Sulit and, its overseeing holding group, will have to fight several fires at the same time.

2014 promises to be an interesting year for classifieds and startup founders who have a solution with more added value than just online listings.

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About Author

Franky, a veteran online publisher, blog consultant, movie buff and internet entrepreneur since late '90s, is the founder of theBobbery. A digital nomad, having lived in the Philippines from 2010 to 2014 and now back in the UK, in he 2010 launched the largest recipe search engine online while running one of the major blogging and social media blog networks. He is also the co-founder of #failbeers.After a stint as Entrepreneur in Residence for Leo Burnett, he returned to the startup life and is preparing the launch of a startup in Africa in 2015.

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