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Carsome ramps up focus on SG after acquiring 51% stake in CarTimes Automobile

Carsome ramps up focus on SG after acquiring 51% stake in CarTimes Automobile

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Automobile platform Carsome Group has acquired a 51% stake in CarTimes Automobile. The move came after Carsome's announcement of completing its acquisition of iCar Asia, a listing and content automotive platform in Southeast Asia. With this acquisition, Carsome aims to deepen its footprint in the Singapore auto market, and augment its ability in bringing choice and transparency to customers together. According to Carsome, the acquisition was an important move that further strengthened its market leadership in the region. At the same time, it also reinforces Carsome's commitment to drive ecosystem expansion. 

Established in 2001, CarTimes Automobile is an auto company in Singapore that offers a full suite of auto solutions ranging from new and used car retail, rental, financing, insurance to repair, maintenance and workshops. In alignment, Similar to Carsome, CarTimes Automobile's business is built on the basis that every customer can enjoy a peace of mind at every step of the car transaction and ownership journey. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Carsome for additional information regarding the acquisition. 

Carsome's co-founder and group CEO, Eric Chong said that since inception, CarTimes Automobile has managed to built a strong brand in Singapore. Through a seamless car transaction process supported by a broad range of ancillary services such as financing and insurance, the automobile company has managed to built trust with the locals. "We are thrilled to announce the partnership with CarTimes, the team of which has over twenty years of experience in the auto industry," added Chong. 

Meanwhile, CarTimes Automobile's founder and managing director, Eddie Loo said that the partnership with Carsome was crucial in assisting it to better serve customers. It also provides the automobile company with the resources to digitise and improve the two-decade-old relationship it has with its customers. "We are extremely excited to be able to find a partner who is fully aligned with our core values and is bringing innovation, technology, and regional experience to our team. Having built an automotive ecosystem of services for our customers here in Singapore, we believe that we have managed to convey our vision of providing a peace-of-mind buying experience to our customers,” Loo added.

Since the acquisition of iCar Asia in July last year, Carsome achieved unicorn status, becoming Malaysia's first tech unicorn. Initially, Carsome acquired 19.9% of iCar Asia from Catcha Group. Following after, the car eCommerce platform and Catch Group made a joint proposal to iCar Asia's independent directors to acquire the balance of 80.1% of iCar from its shareholders. According to Carsome, the acquisition of iCar Asia offered an enhanced suite of digital products and services to more dealers and consumers in all key markets.

Separately in January this year, Carsome bagged US$290 million in a Series E round of funding. The funds, which brought the company’s valuation to approximately US$1.7 billion, will be used to accelerate the company's investment in people, product, technology, data capability, infrastructure, and regional expansion of its retail brand, Carsome Certified, across key markets in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. The funding was jointly led by Qatar Investment Authority, 65 Equity Partners and Seatown Private Capital Master Fund.

The round also saw participation from investors such as Mediatek, Sunway, Gokongwei Group, YTL Group, and Taiwan Mobile. According to Carsome, this latest funding also further solidifies its position as an integrated eCommerce auto platform in Southeast Asia. Carsome previously bagged US$170 million in a Series D2 round of funding in September last year, which was used to focus on the growth and expansion of its B2C business, as well as boost its capabilities in strategic investments and mergers and acquisitions. 

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Carsome bags US$290m in funding, eyes regional expansion of retail brand

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