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.