Southeast Asian integrated car eCommerce platform Carsome has bagged a Series D funding of US$30 million. According to co-founder and group CEO Eric Cheng (pictured below), the fresh funds will be used to strengthen its existing regional position in consumer-to-business used car eCommerce, and accelerate its new offering in the B2C segment, the Carsome Experience Centre.
The latest round of funding is led by Asia Partners and joined by existing Carsome investors Burda Principal Investments and Ondine Capital. Cheng added that the company doubled its monthly revenue compared to pre-pandemic levels, as a result of COVID-19's impact on consumer behaviour across the region.
"Consumers across our core markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore are increasingly purchasing cars to keep their families safe and adapt their businesses," he added.
In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Juliet Zhu, Carsome's group CFO, added that bulk of the funding will be used to strengthen Carsome's platform capabilities and customer experience. Focusing on building a significantly superior product and experience to gain the trust of the market, Zhu said Carsome does not expect to incur a much bigger marketing cost at the initial phase. The per unit marketing cost is also expected to reduce due to the overlap between buyers and sellers on the platform, where multiple transactions can now happen with one acquisition.
Zhu also said that Carsome will be placing more focus towards brand building and word-of-mouth marketing through satisfied customers who like and trust its services. With the fresh fund, the company hopes to grow three times in revenue and number of cars transacted over the course of next year.
Aside from scoring the new round of funding, Carsome was also said to have achieved operational profitability as of October, ahead of earlier projections. Zhu said the company has built "a defensible, scalable, and profitable business with very healthy unit economics attributed to both growth in gross margin and steady improvements in productivity and conversion metrics". She added that the latest round will further support potential merger and acquisition opportunities in acquiring ancillary capabilities and consolidating its supply chain.
Founded in 2015, the company now has more than 1,000 employees and transacts an annualised 70,000 cars totalling US$600 million in value. Carsome first built its foundation in Malaysia before launching operations in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand to deepen its regional footprint. A few months ago, it launched an official store on Shopee, which enables consumers to purchase an exclusive premium selection of used cars. Cheng told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE previously that the partnership creates real opportunities for Carsome and its customers to leverage eCommerce. Last month, Carsome witnessed the 100,000th car sold through its platform.
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