Vietnamese C2C second-hand car marketplace Caramo announced today that it has raised an undisclosed seed funding from angel investor Jonah Levey, who is also known as Founder, Former Chairman & CEO at VietnamWorks/Navigos Search.
Claiming to be the first of its kind in the country, Caramo is an online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers. The platform monetises only through successful transactions and each car undergoes a 240-point inspection process before being uploaded to the platform.
In an email to e27, Caramo CEO and Founder Cong Tran explained that the company plans to use the new funding to build product, create a 240-point inspection process, and devise a “magical” pricing algorithm. It also wants to develop process and management systems, acquire talents and launch a closed beta for sales and marketing.
Currently based in Hanoi with 14 employees, Caramo also has plans to expand to Ho Chi Minh City this year.
“We are in pilot phase and have received 65 requests of buying and selling, nine signed contracts and two completed transactions. Caramo is helping buyers and sellers to the end of trading, not listing used car only,” said Tran, who is also co-founder of a few different companies.
He runs a car and motorbike pawn shop chain called F88, a car and housing loan platform named BankGo, the P2P lending platform Tima and the startup accelerator Topica Founder Institute Vietnam and Thailand.
In a press statement, the company cited data which stated that Vietnam’s second-handed car sales volume reached US$3 billion a year. Generally, the Association of Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers (VAMA) indicated that car ownership in the country is increasing with 304,247 cars are being sold in 2016, up 24 per cent from the same period the previous year.
Angel investor Jonah Levey is also known as a board member of Mekong Capital and Galaxy Media & Entertainment. In 2013, his company Vietnam Works was acquired by En-Japan, reportedly for US$22 million.
Levey has invested in several other startups, including recruitment startup JobNet in Myanmar, which possesses several similarities with his previous work with VietnamWorks/Navigos Search.
Image Credit: Caramo