Malaysia’s Carsome open to new funding from strategic investors – Group CEO

By Yantoultra Ngui

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Southeast Asia’s largest car e-commerce platform Carsome is open to new funding from potential strategic investors, its co-founder and group CEO told Reuters.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore, Carsome co-founder and group CEO Eric Cheng said the company is looking for strategic investors whose “businesses are able to add value to what we are doing, be it on car trading, financing or insurance.”

Carsome, which was valued at $1.7 billion in its fund-raising round early last year, is ready for an initial public offering (IPO) but is in no rush to list, Cheng said.

“We haven’t really set a right timeline or window,” he said, adding the company was also open to a dual listing.

“We need exchanges that appreciate the business that we’re building,” he said. “We need that exchange to be able to also provide enough liquidity.”

Carsome, which counts Qatar Investment Authority and Temasek’s 65 Equity Partners among its investors, had hit operational profitability in the first quarter of this year and is expected to achieve its first group-wide profit or break-even before year-end, Cheng said.

Founded in 2015 in Malaysia, Carsome has expanded into Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and recently in the Philippines. It works with over 8,000 dealers and has an average of 15 million monthly visitors across its platforms, according to its website.

(Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Stephen Coates)