- Expanding into Indonesia and Thailand
- Looking to be profitable by end-2016
MALAYSIAN automotive portal Carsome said it has raised US$2 million in a Series A round led by IdeaRiverRun (IRR), with participation from IMJ Investment Partners and 500 Startups.
IRR and 500 Startups had also previously invested US$350,000 in its seed round when it was founded a year ago. [Disclosure: In November 2014, IRR also invested approximately US$300,000 in DNA]
Carsome cofounder and chief executive officer Eric Cheng said most of the Series A would be used to fuel its expansion into Indonesia and Thailand.
The startup has already expanded to Australia and Singapore, besides operating in its home base of Malaysia.
“We will be pushing hard on marketing activities as well as talent acquisition for the regional operations team,” Cheng told Digital News Asia (DNA) via email.
He claimed Carsome has a gross merchandise value (GMV) that exceeds US$5 million.
“We are on track to grow this value tenfold, and aim to reach profitability by the end of 2016,” he declared.
Currently, Carsome has 500 active dealers on its portal. It aims to increase this number to at least 1,000 across all its markets by the end of the year.
Seamless car trading
Users tend to look at car portals as being successful when they have a lot of listings, but Cheng (pic) begs to differ.
“Carsome has zero listings on the site; the most important metric for us would be how many cars are sold and bought through our platform,” he said.
Instead of listings, Carsome provides ‘car-selling services’ – sellers can access information on car valuations with full transparency, and sell their cars to the startup within a day.
“This also assures car dealers a constant first-class supply of thoroughly inspected cars,” said Cheng.
On the other side, Carsome guarantees buyers the best offers in town by providing up to five upfront offers, while providing dealers with genuine leads.
“Over the past 12 months, Carsome has developed its proprietary real-time pricing algorithm which allows users to get a quick car valuation on our portal as well as pre-negotiated offers for buying a new car.
“We believe the car-trading process should be fast, fair and free,” he added.
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