Source: Carsome Group Inc
Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform CARSOME Group Inc (CARSOME or The Group), today announced the closing of its latest fundraising round, which brings the Group’s liquidity position to approximately US$200 million.
Cementing confidence in CARSOME’s profitability targets and new ecosystem initiatives, this funding round saw broad-based participation from CARSOME’s existing investors, including 65 Equity Partners, Seatown Private Capital Master Fund, Qatar Investment Authority, Gobi Partners, and Asia Partners. It also attracted a long-term debt facility from a new investor, EvolutionX Debt Capital (“EvolutionX”), a growth-stage debt financing platform that provides an alternative source of financing to technology companies in Asia (www.evolutionx.com.sg).
In 2022, the Group’s revenue grew 250% to US$1.5 billion, with the newly established regional retail line CARSOME Certified contributing 35% of total revenue. In Q1 2023, CARSOME hit an operational profitability milestone for the first time on the back of significant growth in trade margin, which doubled compared to the same period last year. Notably, more than 80% of the trade margin came from transaction margins, leaving a huge potential upside for ancillary revenue, especially given its increasing focus on ecosystem offerings, including Financing, Insurance, and Aftersales.
CARSOME Service Centers (CSC), as an example of after-sales offerings, have seen more than 100% month-over-month growth since its launch at the end of last year and are expected to reach nationwide coverage in Malaysia by the end of Q3 2023.
The Group today owns the largest auto digital audience footprint of more than 15 million monthly active users through its content and media ecosystem, including the brands under iCar Asia and Wapcar. In addition to achieving over 30% growth in revenue and reaching profitability as independent business units of the Group, CARSOME’s ecosystem companies have also contributed to a 60% reduction in the Group’s Customer Acquisition Cost.
The ability to unify data across the entire ecosystem enables CARSOME to offer personalized experiences and focus on customer centricity, as validated by its customer satisfaction metrics. As of Q1 2023, its retail line, CARSOME Certified, holds a high Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 77 points within the used car industry. In parallel, the Group’s wholesale business garnered an NPS of 75 points, further affirming customer trust and satisfaction.
Built upon the wealth of data and understanding of customers, the launch of MyGarage as an anchor feature of the CARSOME App sets the foundation for the next level of personalization that further elevates the car ownership experience for customers. MyGarage acts as a comprehensive hub today, offering real-time car valuations, service bookings, and sales inspections, and it will continue to integrate ancillary services, including Financing, Insurance, and Aftersales. MyGarage marks a major step in pursuing the Group’s mission: to provide its customers with peace of mind throughout the entire lifecycle of their ownership experience.
CARSOME’s Co-Founder and Group CEO, Eric Cheng, remarked, “We have spent the last eight years building a more trusted way for customers to transact within Southeast Asia’s used car industry. Our comfortable liquidity position and strong backing from both existing and new investors place us on solid footing to deliver the world’s first integrated car ownership ecosystem, going beyond just buying and selling cars to include ancillary services across the whole ownership lifecycle. I wish to thank all our investors for their continued confidence in our vision and capabilities as we steer the company toward profitability as a Group.”
“We are delighted to have our new investor EvolutionX joining us at this stage of our growth,” CARSOME’s Group President and CFO, Juliet Zhu, commented. “Profitability is just one of the milestones in our long-term capital planning, and we will continue to invite the right partners who can add strategic value at different stages of our growth.”
EvolutionX’s investment in CARSOME marks its first in Southeast Asia. Rahul Shah, Partner of EvolutionX said, “We remain focused in supporting category-leading technology companies in our core markets in Asia which are backed by reputed long-term investors. We are excited by CARSOME’s continued focus towards achieving profitability during this year and believe that this collective capital raise will optimize its capital structure and improve the financial strength of the company to support its continued journey towards sustainable profitable growth.”
CARSOME has been actively reshaping Southeast Asia’s used car industry through its innovative data and tech-driven approaches, offering trust, transparency, and choice to elevate the automotive ownership experience. Today, CARSOME stands firmly poised for an exciting next chapter in its growth journey, having sold over 150,000 cars annually and serving more than 15 million unique customers monthly across its diverse online and offline channels in the region.