Malaysia: Carsome raises $2m Series A from IdeaRiverRun, Japan’s IMJ & 500 Startups

Co-founders Eric Cheng (Left) and Teoh Jiun Ee

Malaysian car-discovery platform Carsome has closed a Series A funding round, raising a total of $2 million (RM8.42 million) led by Malaysian investor IdeaRiverRun, who is also an existing investor in the company.

Japan’s IMJ Investment Partners and Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups also participated in the round, the company said in a release.

The startup plans to use a major part of the latest funding towards its expansion into two new countries–Indonesia and Thailand. The rest of the investment will be invested in marketing activities to strengthen brand presence, and to support talent acquisition for the operations team.

“South East Asia is a key market for us and we are committed to growing Carsome’s presence within this region. The outcome from this round of funding is very encouraging and we are confident that as the implementation of plans progress, we will realise positive returns for our investors in the coming months,” said Eric Cheng, CEO & Co-Founder, Carsome Sdn Bhd.

In August last year, the company had secured $350,000 in seed funding from 500 Startups and Malaysian private equity firm and incubator Idea River Run.

“In just six months (from the last funding), we have developed Carsome into a formidable car-trading platform and have grown our services to include many aspects of the car trading process chain. As a result, we now have a portal that caters to the varying needs of car buyers and sellers in the region,” Cheng said.

The company claims to have a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of over $5 million, and is targeting to grow this value by ten-fold to reach profitability by the end of 2016.

Carsome currently has 500 active dealers on its portal with a presence in Malaysia, Australia and Singapore. The company aims to increase this to at least 1,000 dealers across all markets by the end of the year.

Carsome started operations in February last year by offering buyers the ability to compare prices and offers of new vehicles as well as complete a purchase at their own convenience. Over time it has also launched a car selling service, where sellers can access information on car valuations with full transparency and sell their cars in less than 24 hours.

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