As a vehicle owner, your wheels offer you access and freedom. Whether a car is for your own personal use or gets your business on the move; maintaining and repairing a vehicle is generally a ridiculously expensive and admin-intensive exercise.
DentX uses artificial intelligence (AI) to source data that helps vehicle and fleet owners choose from the best quotes for repairs on their vehicles. No matter the make or model of a vehicle, DentX unlocks a full range of auto-body repair services like wheel alignment, paint colour matching, bonnet dent repair, steering and suspension work, even complete rebuilds—whatever your car would need to get it up and roadworthy again.
For DentX’s co-founder and Managing Director Jonathan Asiamah, he had only been enjoying his new car for a few days when it was damaged in an attempted robbery. Soon after the unfortunate incident, he visited various automotive repair shops, sourcing quotations to find a reasonable price for dent repair for his bonnet. What he found were glaring disparities in the estimates. He knew that there had to be a better way for others with similar experiences.
The solution uses ‘the latest data processing tools and computer vision techniques to collect, train, and auto-assess damage images of vehicles.’ DentX then shares insights that empower users to get on the road again by paying less for their repairs. DentX clients can also rest-assured as they’ll be linked with qualified technicians that are certified by the Retail Motor Industry Organisation and the South African Motor Body Repairers’ Association; two national bodies that seek to maintain ‘proper standards of service and ethical trading conditions in the [automotive] industry.’
Just before the initial national lockdown in 2020, the company was gearing up to launch a full-scale business and marketing strategy. The startup, like countless others globally, was forced into a standstill in its infancy. New challenges posed by the restrictive pandemic encouraged the DentX team to restrategize and they decided to extend beyond private vehicle owners and focus on servicing fleet businesses, as well as scaling and testing technology for a yet-to-be-disclosed, exciting partnership with a bank.
Today, Asiamah’s team is made up of Thabo Mthembu as the team’s Commercial and Compliance Lead; Thandokazi Kweyama taking charge of Business Development and Client Relations; Cleo Shava who gets the word out as the Marketing Lead; with Goran Maslic, Siva Kumar, and Tato Beq as the user experience and development team. Co-Founder Nolo Mokoena is also at the helm and says that even before joining the the first phase of the 2021 AlphaCode Incubate programme, their startup had already started building traction:
‘We’re trying to learn, absorb, make adjustments, change while still running our business day-to-day and that has been… quite stretching, quite growing.’