Carsome invests in Indonesian car auction firm PT Universal Collection

Eric Cheng, Carsome co-founder and group CEO.

Southeast Asian used car trading platform Carsome announced that it has acquired a stake in PT Universal Collection, a Jakarta-based offline car and motorcycle auction service company.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. The deal marks Carsome’s first investment in Southeast Asia this year and allows the integrated car e-commerce platform to double its automotive transaction volume in Indonesia.

The deal allows Carsome’s dealer partners to enjoy more inventory diversity and broader options through one of Indonesia’s top auction houses for automobiles. It also helps expand Carsome’s network coverage and access to financial and leasing providers, according to the announcement.

Universal Collection, which also has branches in South Tangerang, Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Malang, claims to have transacted close to 30,000 vehicles last year.

As part of the investment, Delly Nugraha, country head of Carsome in Indonesia, has been appointed as president director of PT Universal Collection.

“This investment serves as a strategic move for Carsome to open up more opportunities and networks, and to significantly expand our operations in Indonesia, a key Southeast Asia market for Carsome,” Nugraha said.

The acquisition comes as interest among Indonesian consumers to buy or sell a used car remains high, according to the Carsome Consumer Survey released in early 2021.

The survey showed that at least 64% of Indonesian consumers are interested in purchasing a used car between April and September 2021 period.

PT Universal Collection is Carsome’s first investment in Southeast Asia so far this year although the car e-commerce platform has lined up several strategic investments and major M&A transactions in the near future.

DealStreetAsia reported last month that Carsome was in talks with investors to raise over $200 million in a pre-IPO round that will value the company at over $1 billion, making it the first Malaysia-born unicorn since ride-hailing giant Grab.

Founded in 2015 by Cheng and Teoh Jiun Ee, Carsome provides end-to-end solutions for car buyers and dealers, beginning with vehicle inspection to ownership transfer and car financing. It currently transacts an annualised 100,000 cars totalling more than $800 million in transacted value, and has more than 1,700 employees across all its offices.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.