Largest equity round in history to establish Carsome as Malaysia’s largest tech unicorn
Funding to power M&A strategy and further drive retail and ancillary financing businesses
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, 1 SEP 2021 – Carsome Group (Carsome), Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform, today announced the closure of its US$170 million Series D2 round of funding, bringing the company’s valuation to US$1.3 billion and cementing its position as Malaysia’s largest tech unicorn. This is complemented by new credit facilities of US$30 million, bringing total funds raised to US$200 million.
The Series D2 round, the largest equity investment in Carsome’s history, 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, Penjana Kapital and Emissary Capital, as well as strong participation from existing shareholders including Asia Partners, Gobi Partners, 500 Southeast Asia, Ondine Capital, MUFG Innovation Partners, Daiwa PI Partners and others. Rothschild & Co acted as the financial advisor to Carsome for the deal.
According to Carsome Co-founder and Group CEO Eric Cheng, the latest funding round enables the company to accelerate its organic growth in the retail and auto-financing business. “We are deeply honored and encouraged by the confidence and support accorded by our investors. 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’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 funding injection also strengthens Carsome’s 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.
Apart from championing the growth of its B2C business, Carsome’s Series D2 funding is also expected to boost its capabilities in strategic investments and mergers and acquisitions. This year, the company has acquired an all-equity stake in PT Universal Collection, a Jakarta-based car and motorcycle auction service, as well as entered a strategic partnership with leading listings and content automotive platform iCar Asia to build the largest automotive ecosystem in Southeast Asia, with more transactions expected over the next six months.
“We are excited to be partnering with Carsome to build the best and most comprehensive automotive ecosystem in Southeast Asia. With our respective strengths and experience across the region, I am confident that we will continue to grow our leadership in the overall industry as we expand vertically and horizontally,” said Catcha Group Co-founder and Group CEO, Patrick Grove.
Asia Partners Co-founder and Partner Oliver M. Rippel added, “Our mission has always been to invest in technology companies that are transforming Southeast Asia’s economy. Carsome’s terrific leadership team is doing this already with its scalable business model, and we continue to invest because we are confident that their trusted and integrated end-to-end approach will enable Carsome to continue to be the largest digital automotive group in the region.”
Co-founder of long-time investor Gobi Partners Thomas G. Tsao also said, “Carsome is #1 in the market while achieving operational profitability, building a world class executive team, and re-imagining how we buy cars. Since 2015, Gobi is proud to have participated in five capital rounds for the company, and we will continue supporting Carsome’s mission to lead the digital transformation of Southeast Asia’s car industry.”
Carsome transacts more than 100,000 cars on an annualized basis, which translates to around US$1 billion in revenue.