Carsome Group (Carsome), Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform, has closed its US$170 million Series D2 round of funding, valuing the firm at US$1.3 billion and consolidating its status as Malaysia’s largest tech unicorn. This is supplemented by US$30 million in additional credit facilities, bringing the total funds raised to US$200 million.
According to Carsome Co-founder and Group CEO Eric Cheng, the recent funding round allows the company to accelerate its organic expansion in the retail and auto-financing businesses. Carsome’s current funding round will boost the company’s core strategic focus on business-to-consumer (B2C) growth and expansion. SoftBank Vision Fund 2-backed Carro and OLX Auto in Indonesia, part of the OLX Group, which handles worldwide trade platforms, are among Carsome’s competitors. Carsome has built at least 7 B2C retail outlets known as Carsome Experience Centers in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia this year. Several more are planned for the more significant part of the year.
“The most important thing we are trying to tackle is the distrust that’s associated with the used-car industry,” said Cheng, adding that buyers were more willing to purchase automobiles online during recent country-wide lockdowns. Carsome aims to nearly triple its revenue to about $1 billion this year from last year, and to become profitable on an operating level in 2022, according to Juliet Zhu, the company’s chief financial officer.
Carsome is aiming to be listed in the United States in the next 12 months, according to Zhu, and is in talks with sponsors of blank check firms. “We’ve always envisioned ourselves to be listing on U.S. exchanges,” Cheng added, citing comparable valuations for investors on U.S.-listed car marketplaces.
Carsome will utilize the funds to expand its acquisitions, backed by Asian venture capital firm Gobi Partners and a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group.
Furthermore, it obtained a stake in a Jakarta-based automobile and motorcycle auction business this year. It signed a contract with iCar Asia, an Australian-listed company that provides listing sites in Southeast Asia.
Carsome said one of the region’s most considerable sovereign wealth funds participated in the latest funding, although it did not identify the fund. Carsome also obtained $ 30 million in new credit facilities.
Carsome offers consumers and used car dealers end-to-end solutions, from car inspection to ownership transfer to financing, and promises a reliable, convenient, and high-quality service. Carsome eliminates the pain points in the traditionally used car selling process, providing consumers and used car dealers with practical alternatives.