This article first appeared on Deal Street Asia, written by Kristie Neo.
Carro, a Singapore-based automotive marketplace backed by SoftBank Ventures Asia, EDBI and B Capital Group, has forayed into Malaysia with a $30-million investment in myTukar, a local car bidding platform.
The company said this is the first of two planned acquisitions in Malaysia, the home market of competitor Carsome. Carro had in August announced the acquisition of consumer-to-consumer marketplace Jualo in Indonesia, along with the close of a $90-million Series B funding round.
Founded in 2015, Carro offers a range of services including the buying and selling, financing, subscription, insurance, workshop and roadside assistance for cars.
Besides Singapore and Indonesia, the company is present in Thailand. It claims to be Southeast Asia’s largest automotive marketplace with transactions of over $500 million occurring on its platform in 2018.
“Through myTukar we plan on working with thousands of dealers across Malaysia to catalyse the growth of the used car market. Over the next few years, we plan to triple their existing transaction volume to over $500 million,” Carro founder and CEO Aaron Tan said in a statement.
Tan previously told DealStreetAsia that the company has ample financial resources to pursue M&A aggressively, and is particularly interested in areas such as car financing, subscriptions, insurance and vehicle roadside assistance services.
Kuala Lumpur-based rival Carsome remains unfazed by Carro’s entry in its home market.
“Yes, they still remain a threat. But whatever it is, we continue to prove ourselves right in terms of the way we run our business at Carsome. Money is not everything, execution is key. Knowing the market is also very important, and we know our markets very well,” said Carsome CEO and co-founder Eric Cheng.
Carsome is understood to be planning to raise $40 million in a Series C round by the end of 2019. The Kuala Lumpur-based company last raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Burda Principal Investments in 2018.
Similar to Carro, Carsome operates regionally across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. The Malaysian startup, however, runs a consumer-to-business (C2B) model, while Carro operates an agent-to-business (A2B) model.
Other competitors in the car marketplace sector include ASX-listed iCarAsia, Rocket Internet’s Carmudi, and Indonesia’s BeliMobilGue, which just closed a $30-million investment from Berlin-based Frontier Car Group last month.