How Tanzanian auto-tech app Spana claims to be simplifying car maintenance


Tanzania’s Spana, a mobile application for automobile services, claims to have simplified car maintenance in the country as businesses are able to request auto diagnostic checks, vehicle servicing, and repairs.

Julius Mbungo made the claims to Disrupt Africa, saying Spana app allowed users to access reliable mechanics, their car’s maintenance history, track expenses, and receive service reminders, among other things.

He said Spana was on a mission to provide efficient, affordable, and transparent auto repair and maintenance, combating counterfeit spare parts.

“We want to foster a vehicle maintenance culture in Tanzania, helping customers with repairs and spare part procurement along the way. We want to prolong the longevity of Tanzanians’ vehicles and keep our roads and people safe,” Mbungo said.

He recalled conducting a survey in 2022 of car owners, mechanics and garage owners to learn about how car owners accessed services for their cars and the challenges they face when it comes to dealing with mechanics.

“We talked to more than 800 people, and the results were astonishing. Eighty per cent weren’t very happy with existing solutions, and those who were at least satisfied complained about the rip-off from some of the service providers.

“The used cars are powered by after-market spare parts where most are fake, leading to frequent breakdowns and car owners spending four times more on maintenance. There’s also a lack of expertise and modern tools,” said Mbungo.

Tanzania, like most Sub-Saharan African countries is reportedly a used-car dominated market, by a ratio of 90:10, where cars as old as 20-years still found their way onto the roads.

Currently, Spana is bootstrapping, but Mbungo said it plans to open a fundraising round soon.

“Since our inception, we have 30 workshops registered on our platform, and 180 mechanics, with over 1,000 cars registered,” he said.

The company was founded in late-2023 by Julius Mbungo, Ebenezery Kimaro, and John Mwapinga.

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