There are few worse experiences for car owners than realizing that their car has been stolen. This nightmare scenario is an ever-present reality all over the world and especially in places like Malaysia, which is ranked 6th globally for auto theft. But a Kuala Lampur-based company called Katsana is hard at work to change that ranking for its home country.
Dude Where’s My Car?
Launched in 2014, Katsana was created after founder Syed Ahmad Fuqaha saw a friend fall victim to car theft. “It all began approximately a year ago to this date. A close friend of mine had his Toyota Vios stolen in bright daylight while being parked at the roadside in Bangsar,” Fuqaha explains. “To make matters worse, he also had a cache of important documents that are either one-off, or needing to go through government bureaucracy to reproduce them. It was certainly a massive headache.”
Unfortunately, with a car stolen every 24 minutes in Malaysia and only 1 out of 10 stolen vehicles ever being found and returned, his friend was far from alone in struggling with this problem.
To combat this, Fuqaha designed Katsana to work similarly to an ordinary GPS, but with a twist – rather than being used to guide the driver to a location, the GPS tracking platform is used to locate where your vehicle is at any given moment in real time.
This means that Katsana logs the entire history of a car’s movement down to the tiniest detail, which users can see via a web or mobile app. Users also receive alerts when their car starts moving, which is beneficial if they aren’t the one driving it as it makes it clear that their vehicle is stolen.
Katsana also acts as a control panel for all of the vehicle’s activities and has a fuel monitoring system that notifies the owner when there is a sudden change in fuel level. These notifications contain a location, an image of where the drop or rise in fuel levels occurred, and even the amount of fuel lost or gained.
“We crunch live data from vehicles, understand drivers’ behaviour, summarize, and score everything in an actionable way,” Fuqaha says.
In addition, the company guarantees that the device can be easily installed or removed while requiring minimal wiring. “Our GPS tracking device shall not interfere with the vehicles electrical, fuelling, and drivetrain system in any way and will never void the car’s manufacturer’s warranty,” Katsana claims.
A Targeted Growth Model
When Katsana launched in 2014, its primary target were large companies because they were more willing to pay for the service. To date, over 1,100 vehicles have been equipped with the company’s tracking device, 90% of which are owned by businesses. Clients pay a one-time payment of $200 per tracking device and then a monthly $30 subscription.
Although the client-base is largely corporate, Katsana’s goal is to make it accessible for everyone, stating, “We believe that such a service should be made affordable for the general public and should be priced fairly. Everyone [should] be given the chance to protect their vehicles,”
Going forward, the company will focus their efforts on two goals. Its first aim is to raise $3 million by December in order to expand the company throughout Southeast Asia while the second is to enter the lucrative auto insurance industry. The Malaysian auto insurance industry pays out nearly three-quarters of its $2 billion in insurance premiums on claims, and the team at Katsana ultimately wants to change that and continue its mission on making Malaysia a better place for drivers.
“We want to reduce this claim-loss while at the same time becoming the catalyst for safer driving in Malaysia,” Faqaha says. “We want to ensure that good drivers are rewarded. If you’re a good driver, you should get a much lower premium. It’s that simple.”