Malaysia-based automotive portal Carsome announced today that it has raised US$2 million in a Series A round led by existing Malaysian investor IdeaRiverRun with participation from IMJ Investment Partners and another existing investor 500 Startups.
It will use the majority of this capital to fund expansion into two new markets, Indonesia and Thailand. The rest of it will be funnelled into ramping up marketing efforts to boost its branding, and hire new talent in the operations team.
Currently Carsome has 500 active dealers across Malaysia, Australia and Singapore. It aims to increase this to 1,000 across all markets by the end of the year. Carsome says it experiences 300,000 visitors monthly, growing at 20 per cent Month-over-Month (MoM).
It also claims to have a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) exceeding US$5 million, and plans to grow it by 10-fold this year.
Last August, it grabbed US$350,000 in a seed round led by 500 Startups and IdeaRiverRun.
“In just 6 months [since the last fund raising round], we have developed Carsome into a formidable car-trading platform and have grown our services to include many aspects of the car trading process chain. As a result, we now have a portal that caters to the varying needs of car buyers and sellers in the region,” said Eric Cheng, CEO & Co-founder, Carsome, in an official press release.
Carsome began life in February 2015 as an exhaustive vehicle price comparison site; enabling users to make offers and receive proposals and quotations via the platform. Since then, it has evolved to offer direct car selling services, aided by trained inspectors who provide transparent valuations.
In Singapore, Carsome will have to compete against used car marketplace Carro, which also claims to make buying and selling of cars more transparent; it recently raised US$716,000 in seed funding.
Other car service startups in the region are also receiving a fair amount of traction and are scaling fast. Singapore-based car rental marketplace iCarsClub has raised more than US$70 million in funding.