Carsome_Series E_news

(L-R) Carsome co-founders Eric Cheng and Jiun Ee Teoh

Malaysia’s car e-commerce unicorn Carsome has secured US$290 million in a Series E financing round, bringing its valuation to approximately US$1.7 billion.

The round was co-led by Qatar Investment Authority (a sovereign wealth fund of Qatar), 65 Equity Partners (owned by Temasek), Seatown Private Capital Master Fund (a closed-end PE fund managed by SeaTown Holdings).

Also read: How Malaysia’s first unicorn Carsome practiced compassion to grow in the face of adversity

Mediatek, Sunway, Gokongwei Group, YTL Group, and Taiwan Mobil also co-invested.

With the newly raised funds, Carsome intends to accelerate investment in people, product, technology, data capabilities, infrastructure, and regional development of its retail brand, Carsome Certified, in major markets spanning Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Founded in 2015 by CEO Eric Cheng and Teoh Jiun Ee, Carsome aims to digitise Southeast Asia’s used car industry by reshaping the car buying and selling experience through end-to-end solutions — from car inspection to ownership transfer to financing. 

Since its inception, it has made inroads into Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. 

The company claims it works with over 8,000 dealers, transacts around 100,000 cars annually and has more than 1,700 employees across all its offices.

In a bid to expand from the consumer-to-business (C2B) to B2C model in 2021, Carsome has opened at least seven B2C retail centres, known as Carsome Experience Centers, across Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. 

One of its significant developments is Carsome Certified, launched in August 2020. The retail brand provides quality used cars that have passed a certain point inspection to ensure it is free of major accidents, frame, fire or flood damage. Customers can view the car’s interior and exterior, access a list of the current imperfections and a professional reconditioning report, as well as book a test drive on the website.

Carsome has also rolled out numerous auto-financing offerings for car buyers and used car dealers, especially for graduates who typically face challenges obtaining loan approvals from conventional banks. 

Carsome became a unicorn following its acquisition of iCar Asia last July 2021. In September, it announced to bagUS$200 million more in a Series D2 round complemented by credit facilities. 

Recently, it partnered with Grab to launch the “Own Your Ride” campaign, which is slated to benefit over 100,000 Grab drivers and delivery partners across Malaysia when purchasing Carsome Certified cars. The campaign will last until April 2022.

Also read: 25 notable startups in Malaysia that have taken off in 2021

The car marketplace “is set to achieve operational profitability” per a press statement”. Reuters hinted that Carsome’s profitability on an operational level is set to be realised in 2022. 

Last July, Carsome also acquired an all-equity stake in Universal Collection, a Jakarta-based car and motorcycle auction service.


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Image Credit: Carsome

The post Qatar sovereign fund, SeaTown join Carsome’s US$290M Series E round; valuation rises to US$1.7B appeared first on e27.

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