Tech in Asia: Carro to Expand Across Southeast Asia After Raising $5.3m

Singaporean car marketplace Carro has managed to raise enough capital to fund its expansion across the Southeast Asian region. The series A round was led by a number of prominent investors, including Ventura Capital – an Indonesian firm that is backed by the Lippo Group, Alpha JWC Ventures, GMO Venture Partners, Singtel Innov8, Golden Gate Ventures, Coffee Ventures and Skystar Capital, who have invested US$5.3 million. In an attempt to reassure stakeholders, Carro’s CEO Aaron Tan pointed out that the company is going to bring its services to over 350 million consumers in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia by the end of 2016. Interestingly, Tan used to work for Singtel Innov8, one of the companies that participated in the series A.

Unlike most competitors, Carro protects buyers by inspecting each car and taking care of seller certification.  It will also create new job opportunities for app developers, car experts and marketers, to name but a few. During an interview with Tech Asia, Tan pointed out that his top priority is to strengthen Carro’s presence in the Singaporean market while entering new markets and rolling out new products. This is going to require the company’s team to conduct extensive research about each country to see what is trending and what is not. After all, each market has unique cultural, demographic and regulatory features that need to be taken into consideration when devising an expansion strategy.

Tan intends to make Carro as responsive as possible by launching regional variants of its main product and coming up with new solutions to make its systems and products more flexible. He is confident that the company will succeed in its ambition endeavour given its team’s strong technical background and remarkable skills.

Carro is a platform that connects car sellers and buyers through a traditional website and a user-friendly mobile application, assisting each user as they go through every stage of the sale / purchase, including helping them get a loan and find the best insurance policies out there. The company also inspects each vehicle and goes through all the documentation to prevent buyers from being scammed. Ever since its establishment in 2015, Carro has been growing at a monthly rate of 30% and is expected to reach US$74 million in user spending by the end of the year.

Over the past few weeks, Carro has launched a number of new products, such as – which allows users to calculate the value of their vehicle to determine the most appropriate price. The website relies on machine learning and Carro’s vast database to ensure that all prices are relevant, up-to-date and fair for both sellers and buyers. There is also Carro Accessories, an e-commerce site for car-related gadgets. The company’s latest release is Carro Workshop, a mobile application that assists people in finding the best repair shop on the basis of recent reviews, location etc.

Back in November, Carro raised US$712,000.

Here’s the latest conversion rate: US$1 = S$1.36


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