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.

Also Read:

Malaysia: Carsome raises $6m in Gobi Partners-led round

Didi Chuxing invests $200m in Chinese used car platform Renrenche

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.

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.