Malaysia’s online used car platform Carsome raises $19m in Series B

Eric Cheng, Co-Founder and CEO of Carsome

Carsome, an online used car platform headquartered in Malaysia, has raised $19 million in a Series B funding round led by Burda Principal Investments and joined by Gobi Partners.

InnoVen Capital and Lumia Capital also joined the funding round.

In a statement, the startup said it will use the funds to scale and deepen its foothold in Indonesia and Thailand, the region’s largest automotive markets with over 3.6 million used car transactions annually.

Eric Cheng, Co-Founder and CEO of Carsome, told DEALSTREETASIA that the platform nationalises the pricing standard by connecting car sellers with dealers across the entire nation, effectively matching the supply and demand in the country where it operates.

“Compared to the traditional used car model that helps you advertise your car locally, Carsome provides a one-stop process, including valuation, inspection, ownership transfer and payment to sellers,” Cheng said.

Southeast Asia’s used car industry – estimated to be valued at over $30 billion annually – is still highly fragmented, inefficient, and lacks transparency, he added.

With the fresh funds, Carsome aims to further raise its market share in the Southeast Asian market by strengthening its brand awareness via more localized marketing content, as well as focusing on delivering a superior customer experience for the car selling process on its platform.

“We are planning product vertical expansion in the automotive ecosystem as our business model puts us in a unique position with deep expansion potential. Within this year, we are already gradually introducing financing and warranties solutions on the platform,” Cheng told this portal.

Carsome’s monthly total transaction value has increased by more than fourfold since January 2017. Total car sales facilitated on its platform have more than quadrupled with more than 70 per cent of the transactions being done inter-city.

The startup has also grown its staff strength to over 150 in all four operating countries – Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand – to cater to its rapid expansion.

Albert Shyy, Principal at Burda Principal Investments, the lead investor in the Series B round, said Southeast Asia’s burgeoning automotive sector is in the early stages of a digital transformation.

“We believe there is a tremendous opportunity for Carsome to bridge the offline-to-online space,” Shyy said.

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