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Carsome snaps up digital automotive content biz Wapcar and AutoFun

Carsome snaps up digital automotive content biz Wapcar and AutoFun

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Carsome has fully acquired digital automotive content businesses under the brands of WapCar and AutoFun from Tang Internet and its subsidiaries for an undisclosed sum. Upon the acquisition’s completion, WapCar and AutoFun will be established as a fully-owned subsidiary of Carsome Group in Malaysia.

WapCar established its first flagship brands, WapCar and AutoFun in 2019. Today, it operates a number of automotive content websites and social media channels across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam. WapCar provides a full range of content which covers car exploration, transaction, and ownership experiences. The platform also produces, distributes and manages professionally generated content and user-generated content.

According to Carsome, the platform distributed on average more than 1,400 article write-ups and 100 videos on a monthly basis in 2021 across YouTube and TikTok channels. During the last quarter of 2021, WapCar had become one of most visited auto content platforms with over six million average monthly active users.

Carsome co-founder and group chief executive officer Eric Cheng explained that this partnership between WapCar and Autofun will enable Carsome to capture and serve customers from the early stage of car exploration and bring a more engaging and fun experience to the car transaction and ownership journey. “We believe our collaboration through content, technology and data will augment our ability to bring trust, transparency and choice to customers together,” Cheng added.

WapCar GM Sting Peng added that there is perfect synergy for WapCar to join the Carsome family. “We are excited to work with Carsome to collectively provide a smooth car buying and selling experience to millions of WapCar users on our platform across the region, as well as an end-to-end solution in their car transaction and ownership journey,” Peng said. A+M has reached out to Carsome for additional information.

In January this year, Carsome bagged US$290 million in a Series E round of funding which 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.

This comes months after it cemented its tech unicorn status with the acquisition of iCar Asia worth more than US$200 million. As part of the acquisition, Carsome bought over 19.9% of iCar Asia from Catcha Group. Carsome and Catcha Group have also made a joint proposal to iCar Asia's independent directors to acquire the balance of 80.1% of iCar from its shareholders.

On the marketing front, it beefed up its operations by hiring Ravi Shankar as CMO to oversee brand, marketing, digital, social media, public relations, growth, market research, and customer experience. He was previously AirAsia's chief growth officer. It also doubled down on Indonesia with the appointment of Andrew Mawikere as CEO in February. Bringing more than 14 years of experience, Mawikere is a seasoned business executive with previous careers in Indonesia, the United States and Singapore.

Related articles: 
Carsome ramps up focus on SG after acquiring 51% stake in CarTimes Automobile
Carsome names new CEO for Indonesia market expansion
Ravi Shankar joins Carsome Group as CMO
Carsome makes readers do a double take with eye-catching CNY print ads

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