Malaysia’s Carsome raises US$350K from 500 Startups, IRR

  • Founded only in February, seeks to expand regionally
  • Claims it’s serving 150,000 potential car buyers every month
Malaysia’s Carsome raises US$350K from 500 Startups, IRR

AUTOMOTIVE portal Carsome, which connects car buyers to dealers, said it has raised US$350,000 in its first round of funding, from 500 Startups and IdeaRiverRun (IRR).
The funding will be used to accelerate its regional expansion plans, the Malaysian startup said in a statement.
The company was founded only in February by Eric Cheng and Teoh Jiun Ee, who previously worked together in business development across South-East Asia at Innity, which provides interactive online marketing platforms and is listed on Malaysia’s ACE Market.
Cheng, also the chief executive officer, said the company is in the midst of setting up partnerships “in multiple cities, and we will be ready to announce the news in eight weeks.”
“With focused execution, the Carsome team can replicate and extend its success to other markets in the region. We are ready to serve car buyers where we are needed,” he added.
Carsome said its platform allows car buyers to compare, research and select the best price offered by its certified dealers. It claimed it is already serving 150,000 potential car buyers every month on its portal.
For their part, dealers can save on marketing costs, as Carsome charges certified dealers based on the success of the sales provided, it said in its statement.
The company said it has already formed partnerships with 100 dealerships in the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang.
It said that brands such as Perodua, Honda and VW have also formed partnerships with Carsome for the startup to provide indepth marketing data analytics that would give them insights on consumer trends and ultimately increase sales volume.
“[Carsome] is introducing a working business model that is successful and proven by Beepi in the United States, Carwow in the United Kingdom,” said 500 Startups managing partner Khailee Ng.
Other Malaysian-founded companies that 500 Startups has invested in include GrabTaxi and KFit.
IRR chairman Vincent Lee said his investment firm has been actively investing in business models and teams capable of regional expansion.
Lee’s previous investments, either personally or through IRR, include mobile payments specialist Soft Space, digital marketing company Gimmie, and Digital News Asia.

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