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Automobile

Malaysia's used car bidding platform in talks to raise $40m

As Carsome expands in Southeast Asia it intends to fend off rivals on home turf

Carsome, which facilitates sales of used cars by handling inspections, payments and logistics, is feeling the heat of increased competition.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Carsome, a Malaysia-based used car marketplace, is in talks to raise $40 million in a Series C funding round by the end of this year, according to three sources aware of the development.

One of the sources told DealStreetAsia that Carsome is raising the financing at a valuation of $110 million. The other two sources said the startup is being valued 'much higher' in the latest round.

Carsome declined to comment for this story.

The Kuala Lumpur-based company last raised $20 million in May in a Series B round led by Burda Principal Investments. The other investors on its cap table are Gobi Partners, 500 Startups, Spiral Ventures, Lumia Capital, Indogen Capital and InnoVen Capital.

Launched in 2015, Carsome is led by co-founders Eric Cheng and Jiun Ee Teoh. The company's core business is selling cars to individuals and agents via its online bidding platform, through which it facilitates the entire sale from inspection to payment and other logistics.

Apart from Malaysia, Carsome is also present in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. It claims to have one of Southeast Asia's largest dealer networks with over 4,000 registered dealers on its platform.

Carsome's fundraising efforts coincide with rising competition on its home turf.

Last week, Carro -- Carsome's Singaporean competitor -- announced plans to complete three more acquisitions in the country by the end of 2019, as first reported by Business Times.

Carro recently announced the acquisition of Jualo, an Indonesian C2C marketplace platform, along with the close of a $90-million Series B round backed by SoftBank Ventures Asia, EDBI, Insignia Ventures and other investors.

In an interview with DealStreetAsia, Carro CEO Aaron Tan said the company has ample financial resources to pick up stakes or make full acquisitions of companies that add strategic value to its business. These may fall across a range of related sectors including financing, subscriptions, insurance, workshops and roadside assistance for cars.

Apart from Carro, Carsome competes with a myriad of players, many of which have plans to expand to or already operate in multiple markets across Southeast Asia. These include ASX-listed iCarAsia, Rocket Internet's Carmudi, and Indonesia's BeliMobilGue, which just closed a fresh $30 million round from Berlin-based Frontier Car Group (invested by OLX Group) this week.

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