SG Digest: Carousell launches auto unit; Grab’s $275m fund for partners

Carousell co-founder Lucas Ngoo

Singapore-based classifieds marketplace platform Carousell Group on Wednesday announced the launch of Carousell Auto Group while Grab rolled out a $275-million fund to support its drivers and community.

Singapore’s Carousell launches auto unit

Singapore-based classifieds marketplace platform Carousell Group on Wednesday announced the launch of Carousell Auto Group to deepen its dominance in the auto marketplace in Southeast Asia.

“We want to transform Carousell Auto Group into a one-stop shop for everything auto-related. Soon, our users across the region will be able to sell and buy their cars quickly in a seamless manner, and have access to the entire auto ecosystem of workshops, accessories and services,” said Carousell co-founder Lucas Ngoo.

Carousell Auto Group will power Mudah Auto in Malaysia, Cho Tot Xe in Vietnam, Carousell Autos in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore with the transactional platforms OneShift and Revo Financial, the group said in a statement.

Following the two mergers in 2019 with OLX Philippines and Mudah, Chotot and OneKyat from 701Search, Carousell said it has cemented its classified autos leadership in Southeast Asia. The auto vertical is now the group’s largest vertical, contributing a third of the Group’s revenue. 

Carousell also appointed Gaurav Bhasin as the chief strategy officer for Carousell Group in addition to his role as CEO, Malaysia. Bhasin’s first priority as chief strategy officer is to lead the strategy and execution of Carousell Auto Group.

Grab announces $275m fund to support drivers, partners

Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery giant Grab on Thursday unveiled plans for the GrabForGood Fund that seeks to support its driver, delivery and merchant-partners in Southeast Asia.

Grab said in a statement it will seed the fund with $50 million in cash and $200 million in the expected value of Grab shares. In addition, Grab group CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan, co-founder Tan Hooi Ling and president Ming Maa have pledged a combined $25 million in their personal contribution of Grab shares (expected value).

This brings the total initial fund size to $275 million, based on today’s value expectations, Grab added.

“The GrabForGood Fund will be a key pillar of our efforts to uplift Grab partners and our broader community, and represents a meaningful next step in our long-term commitment to Southeast Asia,” said Grab Group CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan.

A ‘Fund Advisory Board’ will be formed to give Grab partners and the broader Southeast Asia community strong representation in providing feedback and recommendations over how the funds will be spent, it added.

As an immediate commitment, Grab has allocated up to $20 million in cash from the fund to fully subsidise the cost of Covid-19 vaccines and administration for eligible driver- and delivery partners.

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.