[Updated] Used car marketplace Carsome's net losses surge 7x, revenue doubles in FY21

Eric Cheng, Carsome co-founder and group CEO.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to incorporate comments from a company spokesperson.

Southeast Asian car marketplace Carsome doubled its revenue for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to fuel sales of used cars in the region.

The firm reported revenue of $656 million in FY21, compared with $327 million in FY20, per its filings with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

However, its net losses surged more than sevenfold to $138.6 million on the back of higher vehicle acquisition costs—these doubled to $620 million—and other expenses. It also recorded a fair value loss on redeemable convertible preference shares (RCPS) and warrants of $53.5 million in FY21, compared with $2.14 million in the previous year. 

“The loss was mainly driven by fair value adjustments such as redeemable convertible preference shares, convertible notes and warrants, which were non-cash expenses and not related to the operating performance of the business,” said a Carsome spokesperson.

The company’s revenue in the first half of FY2022 has already surpassed full-year revenue in 2021, the spokesperson noted.

“We’ve been prioritizing margin performance and group profitability since the start of the year and have been reducing operational loss quarter by quarter. Internally, we are pushing for group-level EBITDA breakeven by H2 2023,” she added.

Carsome’s 2021 profit and loss statement 

Source: ACRA

“The operating EBITDA of FY2021, excluding fair-value adjustments, non-cash items and non-operational corporate cost, was in line with the previous year’s EBITDA margin. This being said, we continued to deliver 2x group revenue in FY2021 despite an ongoing pandemic impact in the region last year, and with a more controlled operating burn,” the Carsome spokesperson added.

According to its ACRA filing, the group generated net cash of $464.8 million in FY21 from financing activities, including through the issue of convertible notes ($319.5 million) and RCPS ($98.36 million). It had cash and cash equivalents of $340.38 million at the end of FY21, up from $29 million at the end of FY20.

Carsome used $114.4 million of cash in operations last year. “As at December 31, 2021, the Group had net capital deficiency of US$287.5 million and does not expect positive cash flows from operations in the foreseeable future,” it noted in its financial report.

Carsome recently filed for a Nasdaq IPO and is considering a dual listing in Singapore. It is said to be looking to raise $300-400 million in a public listing at a valuation of $2 billion. According to ACRA filings, Carsome Group transferred all of its shares to a Cayman Islands-incorporated entity on April 15 ahead of its confidential filing for a Nasdaq IPO.

Earlier this year, the company raised $290 million in a Series E round of funding jointly led by Temasek-backed investment firm SeaTown Holdings, Qatar Investment Authority and 65 Equity Partners.

Acquisitions

In April 2021, Carsome acquired a 51% stake in PT Universal Collection, a Jakarta-based company that provides offline car and motorcycle auction services, for a total consideration of $1.47 million.

In Sept 2021, it acquired the business of WapCar and Autofun, which operates a digital auto content platform, for a total cash consideration of $7 million.

It has continued to shell out money for more acquisitions this year. In January, Carsome entered into an agreement to fully acquire Thailand-based Limousine and Car Transport Ltd (LCT), which offers car rental services, for a total cash consideration of about $9 million. In the first tranche, it acquired a 49% stake in LCT for $4.4 million earlier this year. The second tranche is expected to be completed this year upon fulfilment of certain closing conditions.

In February, Carsome completed the acquisition of the remaining 80.1% stake in ASX-listed iCar Asia for a total consideration of approximately $137.6 million, including a cash component of $121.3 million.

The company also entered into an agreement to fully acquire Singapore-based Car Times Automobile Pte Ltd in February. It has so far acquired a 51% stake in the company in the first tranche for $20 million. The rest of the transaction is expected to be completed by 2024.

Singapore and Indonesia performance

Despite revenue growth in the overall Southeast Asia region, Carsome Singapore reported a drop in revenue for the second consecutive year. For FY21, the Singapore entity reported revenue of S$54,520 ($38,887), a 29% dip from S$$77,177 ($55,047) a year ago.

Carsome Singapore’s revenue

Indonesia-based entities – PT Awe Some Indonesia, PT Car Some Indonesia and PT Universal Collection – recorded total revenue of $140.67 million in FY21, up from $43.1 million in the previous year. Their aggregate net losses stood at $13.84 million, up from $4.23 million in the previous financial year.

The state of the market

The Southeast Asian used car market is still at a nascent stage and is expected to grow at a doubt-digit annual rate over the next five years, according to the latest study by Ken Research. The study also reported that over 10 million vehicles were sold in the region in FY21. 

Carsome’s competitor Carro recently announced that it recorded its first profitable year so far, achieving more than S$650 million ($464 million) in revenue and doubling its gross profit in the year ending March 2022. 

With India’s CARS24 establishing its ASEAN footing in Thailand in November and planning to enter Indonesia this year, competition in Southeast Asia’s used automobile market has increased. 

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