This article was published on Nikkei Asia, and written by Dylan Loh.
Japan’s SoftBank Group has led a $360 million Series C funding round in Singapore online car sales platform Carro, propelling the Southeast Asian startup into the ranks of unicorns — companies with a valuation of $1 billion or more.
Carro announced on Tuesday that the new round of financing, which included other investors such as Indonesia-based fund EV Growth, made the company the first automotive unicorn in Southeast Asia.
The startup said it will use the funds to expand its retail presence across Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, countries which saw significant market growth the past year.
Carro also wants to beef up its financial services offerings by expanding beyond in-house loan financing, and will accelerate development of its artificial intelligence capabilities.
“Powered by AI, Carro’s technology platform provides consumers with full-stack services and transparency throughout the car ownership process,” said Greg Moon, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.
Read the full article on Nikkei Asia here.