South Korean ride-sharing startup SoCar to launch services in Malaysia

Photo: SoCar's Facebook page

South Korean ride-sharing startup SoCar has identified Malaysia as its first overseas market for expansion, according to a report by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

SoCar will officially launch its services in Malaysia by establishing 120 zones with 240 cars in the country, the report said. It will join Grab and Uber that already offer similar services in the market.

No further details about SoCar’s Malaysia foray were made available. A report in May 2017 by Dong-A Ilbo said that the car-sharing service firm had established a joint venture with SK Corp, the startup’s second-largest shareholder, for its entry into the Southeast Asian country.

Founded in March 2012, SoCar allows users to rent a car for their use through its website and smartphone app. It claims to have over 1.7 million registered users and around 80,000 transactions per month. One of SoCar’s selling points is allowing users to rent cars by the hour, instead of by the day, with insurance coverage included.

In 2015, SoCar raised an $18 million round of funding, marking one of the biggest deals for a South Korean startup. The round was led by US investor Bain Capital.

The Yonhap report quoted a company official as saying that Malaysia has a high growth potential for car sharing. Its capital, Kuala Lumpur, is also similar to Seoul in terms of the number of vehicles and traffic.

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