Carsome has raked in $6 million in a funding round led by Gobi Partners with participation from Lumia Capital, Innoven. Existing investors, 500 Startups and Spiral Ventures, also took part in the capital infusion.
The fresh inflow of funds will be utilized to expand into new markets in Southeast Asia and set up new inspection outlets in the markets it currently operates in — Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. It has grown its team from 6 in Malaysia to 100 in these nations.
In a joint press release, Carsome and Gobi Ventures wrote, except Singapore, the three countries amount to a total of 3.5 million used car transactions conducted per year.
Founded in 2015 by Eric Cheng and Jiun Ee Teoh, the C2B platform enables a user to get a free valuation for their second-hand cars, free inspection services and have them listed on the marketplace. Post this, over 1500 car dealers can compete to buu the car through a bidding system.
Carsome claims to have increased its monthly revenue 12.5 times since it raised $2 million in the previous funding round in March 2016. Also, the company is said to be earning $30 million in annual sales. Gobi Partners vice-president of investment for Asean, Victor Chua, said,
The C2B model that Carsome emphasises on makes a lot of sense, especially in emerging markets like Southeast Asia because there is not enough data that enables trust between consumers. Carsome provides a de-risking element for both sides – the sellers who are generally individuals and buyers who are dealers.
In Singapore, the company competes with another used car marketplace Carro that operates on C2C model, has even set up its own subsidiary to make auto financing more accessible. While another platform in Southeast Asia, Vietnam-based Caramo focuses on C2C and Singapore-based Carousell takes a B2C approach.