● Carsome is Southeast Asia’s largest used car trading platform with 40,000 cars transacted annually, accounting for 1% of the used car market. On average one car is sold through Carsome’s platform every 10 minutes
● A combination of equity and debt investments totaling US$50M with equity closing from global strategic investors including Japan’s MUFG Innovation Partners, Daiwa PI Partners, Endeavor Catalyst, Ondine Capital and other undisclosed new investors, and participation from existing investors Gobi Partners and Convergence Ventures
● New financing will strengthen regional market leadership in the auto trading ecosystem through strategic partnerships offering the whole suite of value-added services including car loans, dealer financing, warranty and insurance
● The capital injection will also greatly accelerate the launch of Carsome’s direct-to-consumer brand in collaboration with its dealer network through management and technology key hires
Bangkok – 11 December 2019 - Carsome, Southeast Asia’s leading used car trading platform, today announced it had completed the equity closing for the U$50 million Series C. The current financing round welcomed new investors including MUFG Innovation Partners (MUIP), corporate venture capital arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc (MUFG), one of the world’s leading financial groups, as well as Daiwa PI Partners, the private equity arm of Daiwa Securities Group, one of Japan's largest securities groups, Endeavor Catalyst and Ondine Capital. Carsome’s Series C fundraising also saw participation from existing investors, including Gobi Partners and Convergence Ventures, and other undisclosed new investors.
Carsome has established itself as Southeast Asia's leading used car trading platform with a strong market leadership in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Over 40,000 cars transacted annually totalling more than US$300 million in transaction value, excluding all loan and financing deployment. Funding will be used to help consolidate Carsome's market leadership in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, with expansion into more cities in Southeast Asia, and to accelerate financing product offerings for dealers and consumers with multi-country roll-outs over the next 12 months. Carsome has built a successful track record with loan portfolios over the past year and is ready to scale up the offering by working with strategic partners, including regional banks and non-banking financial institutions.
Carsome prides itself on being a one-stop solution for car sellers and dealers, from inspection to ownership transfer, promising a hassle-free process with instant payment and seamless paperwork. Customers can schedule a free car valuation at any of their highly efficient inspection centres across the region. Carsome’s inspectors will appraise the car and provide an offer on the spot with the help of the proprietary inspector toolsets and pricing model. The car is then put up for bidding to all used car dealers in Carsome’s network for auction. When a customer accepts an offer, the paperwork will be managed by Carsome, and payment is made to the customer via an online bank transfer instantly as part of the ownership transfer. To date, Carsome has a coverage of more than 6,000 dealers across over 50 cities in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore on its platform and over 12,000 monthly inspections at its inspection centres across Southeast Asia.
Carsome has over 700 employees across its Southeast Asia offices. Operationally, Carsome remains highly capital efficient. It is operationally profitable in Malaysia and targets profitability in the remaining markets by end-2020.
Eric Cheng, Co-founder and CEO of Carsome, said: “With over 4 million used car transactions annually in Southeast Asia, Carsome transacts 1 percent of annual second-hand car sales in the region! We have helped over 6,000 dealers in growing their businesses and have become their closest working partners. We have also served over a million customers with a whole new experience in car trading - transparent, convenient and the fastest of its kind.”
“We are delighted and encouraged by the support of our global investors in our Series C round. They share in our vision to revolutionise Southeast Asia’s used car industry by establishing and upholding a new standard of quality assurance and through the better use of transactional data,” added Eric, “We aspire to be the Visa/Master network of auto transactions, and build a collaborative ecosystem of partners to provide the best experience to consumers in Southeast Asia.”
As part of the strategic investment, Carsome will collaborate with MUFG and its subsidiaries in Southeast Asia to support Carsome’s vision of driving the automotive industry forward, by providing integrated financing access for dealers and consumers via Carsome’s platform. MUFG owns both PT Bank Danamon Indonesia, Tbk. (Danamon), which is one of the largest banks and the leading used automotive financing company in Indonesia, and The Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited (Krungsri), Thailand’s fifth-largest bank in terms of loans and deposits. Through this collaboration, MUFG and its subsidiaries will have the ability to provide business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) financing on Carsome’s platform by leveraging Carsome’s transactional data, further expanding Carsome’s positioning as the leading used car ecosystem in the region. “MUIP is proud to participate in this round of financing for Carsome,” said Nobutake Suzuki, President and CEO of MUIP. We’re excited to be partnering with Eric and his team — their technology-first approach to solving the used car industry’s biggest pain points such as long wait times for sales and lack of transparency in the sales process for budget-conscious SMEs and consumers has compelling advantages over existing competitors. We truly believe Carsome is well-positioned to exhibit strong market leadership by delivering best-in-class experience to consumers and dealers throughout the used car supply chain. MUIP will work with its Partner Banks, Danamon and Krungsri, in collaboration with Carsome to support Carsome’s growth strategy as they continue to bring innovative solutions to the market and execute its long-term vision.”
Echoing Mr. Suzuki’s sentiments, Thomas Tsao, Chairman and Founding Father at Gobi Partners, added: “Carsome is building locally-relevant solutions for the new generation of car owners and dealers. In less than five years, they have built a category-defining business and launched a world-class platform that has been adopted by over 6,000 used car dealers and transacted more than US$300 million in used car sales a year. We’re pleased to continue supporting Carsome on their mission to shape the future of car ownership in Asia.”
President of Daiwa PI Partners, Hideki Araki, commented: “Over the past few years, we’ve admired the innovation and speed that Eric and his team have brought to the marketplaces that they serve. The combination of our investment with their bespoke technology, digital expertise and dealer relationships will supercharge Carsome’s ability to compete and win in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.”
In March 2018, the company raised US$19 million in Series B funding led by Burda Principal Investments, alongside Gobi Partners, Convergence Ventures, Indogen Capital, InnoVen Capital and Lumia Capital. It then followed with a U$8 million extension round in August 2018, led by the family office of Joe Hirao, Founder of Tokyo-headquartered ZIGExN Co Ltd. Carsome also recently announced key strategic senior hires with Danny Chin, the former CMO of redONE, coming on board as CMO, and Chet Sin, FWD Insurance’s former Head of IT and Digital Commerce, joining as CTO.
Carsome is Southeast Asia’s leading used car trading platform with presence in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. Carsome prides itself as a one-stop shop for all car sellers, providing a full stack selling solution from inspection to ownership transfer, to deliver a seamless and hassle-free experience to sellers. Carsome currently transacts more than 40,000 cars annually totaling more than US$300 million in transacted value.
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About Daiwa PI Partners
Daiwa PI Partners is an investment firm based in Tokyo, Japan. They are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daiwa Securities Group, one of the largest securities groups in Japan. The firm focuses on private equity investments and debt investments. Past private equity investments include companies in various industries such as automotive, E-commerce, online travelling, finance business and internet service providers.
About MUFG Innovation Partners
MUFG Innovation Partners was established as a corporate venture capital of MUFG and is responsible for the MUFG’s open innovation strategy to accelerate partnerships between startups and MUFG, and strategic investments in startups. MUFG Group is one of the world’s leading financial groups. Headquartered in Tokyo and with over 360 years of history, MUFG has a global network with over 1,800 locations in more than 50 countries. The Group has over 180,000 employees and offers services including commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management, and leasing.
About Gobi Partners
Gobi Partners is one of the first venture capital firms with a regional presence across China, Japan, and ASEAN with over US$1.1 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm, headquartered in Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur, supports entrepreneurs from the early to growth stages and focuses on emerging and underserved markets.
Founded in 2002, Gobi has raised 13 funds to date, invested in over 250 startups, and has grown to ten offices across Bangkok, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.
For more information, please visit www.gobivc.com
About Ondine Capital
Ondine Capital is a venture capital firm specializing in investments in multi-backgrounds teams that integrate business model and technology innovation, across seed-to-growth stage, in South East Asia and the Greater China area.