Carsome Group, Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform, has become Malaysia’s largest tech unicorn after raising $170 million in its Series D funding round. It also secured new credit facilities of $30 million, according to an announcement.
The latest funding round, which brings the company’s valuation to $1.3 billion, saw participation from one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the region and a pool of new international investors such as Catcha Group, MediaTek, and Penjana Kapital.
Existing shareholders including Asia Partners, Gobi Partners, 500 Southeast Asia, Ondine Capital, MUFG Innovation Partners, Daiwa PI Partners, and others, also participated in the funding round.
Carsome co-founder and Group CEO Eric Cheng said the latest funding enables the startup to accelerate its organic growth in the retail and auto-financing business.
“We are geared up to achieve even greater heights while rolling out Southeast Asia’s integrated car e-commerce platform, now further solidified by various strengths within the ecosystem,” Cheng added.
Carsome Group is the market leader in the online used car buying and selling platform across Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore. It transacts more than 100,000 cars on an annualized basis, which translates to around US$1 billion in revenue.
Carsome’s latest funding round will empower its strategic focus on the growth and expansion of its business-to-consumer (B2C) business.
This year alone, Carsome has opened at least seven B2C retail centers known as Carsome Experience Centers across Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, with several more in the pipeline for the rest of the year.
The company has also opened its first vehicle reconditioning center in Malaysia to add to its array of retail services and boost consumer confidence in its Carsome Certified cars.
The company added that the fresh funding will strengthen its offering in auto-financing for car buyers and used car dealers. On top of its numerous financing products, Carsome recently launched auto-financing for graduates who typically face challenges in obtaining loan approvals from conventional banks.
In July, Carsome agreed to acquire a 19.9-per cent stake in Australia-listed iCar Asia Ltd. Carsome will acquire the stake from Catcha Group.
Both Carsome and Catcha group have also made a joint proposal to acquire the balance of 80.1% of iCar from its shareholders for total transaction value of more than $200 million.
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