SOCAR Malaysia raises $55m Series B from EastBridge Partners, Sime Darby

Leon Foong, CEO of SOCAR Mobility Malaysia.

SOCAR Mobility Malaysia (SOCAR), a subsidiary of South Korean car-sharing startup SOCAR, has raised $55 million in Series B funding round from South Korea-based EastBridge Partners and Malaysian multinational Sime Darby Berhad.

This funding round brings the company’s total capital raised to $71 million so far, with a valuation of $213 million, according to an announcement on Friday.

The fresh funds will be used for technological enhancements and investing in further trust and safety measures that will help improve the overall profitability of the business, the statement added.

SOCAR will also be looking at using its fleet expertise to introduce clean mobility to the masses and will be leveraging its peer-to-peer marketplace expertise to further empower fleet and private car communities across Southeast Asia via its Trevo platform.

The investment will be structured into two tranches, with 60% upfront and the remaining 40% disbursed based on agreed conditions.

“For us at SOCAR, the fact that we were able to have new equity partners join our growth journey during a global pandemic speaks of the confidence our partners have in SOCAR’s leadership in the car-sharing space and our ability to scale TREVO’s peer-to-peer business across the region,” said Leon Foong, CEO of SOCAR Mobility Malaysia.

EastBridge Partners’ investment into SOCAR aligns with its Korea+ core investment strategy that leverages EastBridge’s Korea and Pan-Asia network, whereby investments are focused on companies with strong fundamentals, high growth potential and global expansion prospects, SOCAR said in the press release.

SOCAR was first launched in Malaysia in January 2018 as a joint venture between SK Inc. and SOCAR Inc.

In February 2020, SOCAR raised $18 million in a Series A funding round with investment from Eugene Private Equity Co. Ltd. and KH Energy Co. Ltd.

The company claims that it has over 2,200 cars across 36 different models and over 1,000 locations in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor, Ipoh, and Melaka offered on its SOCAR app.

The mobility segment is attracting investor interest of late.

Most recently, Southeast Asian used-car marketplace Carsome Group said it has raised $170 million in a funding round from investors including Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek, cementing its position as Malaysia’s largest tech unicorn, valued at $1.3 billion.

Carsome, partnering Catcha Group, had announced a $200-million landmark deal to buy out ASX-listed iCar Asia in July.

Another unicorn that has emerged in this space is the Singapore-based Carro, which raised $360m led by SoftBank to become a unicorn in June this year.

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.