Singapore start-up Carro raises $ 360 million from SoftBank and others

A used car dealership is seen in Laurel, Maryland on May 27, 2021, as many car dealerships across the country are running out of new vehicles due to computer chip shortages causing the production at many vehicle manufacturers almost came to a halt.

Jim Watson | AFP | fake images

SINGAPORE – Carro, a Singapore-based start-up, announced Tuesday that it raised $ 360 million in a Series C funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2.

The startup operates an online marketplace where users can buy, sell or lease used and new cars. It also sells financing options, insurance, and maintenance services for those vehicles.

Carro did not disclose its exact valuation. However, the company said it is the Southeast Asian startup to cross the billion dollar mark, known as unicorns.

Other investors in the most recent funding round include various Indonesian-based funds, such as EV Growth.

Founder and CEO Aaron Tan told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” that there is a definite interest in taking the company public for the next 18 to 24 months.

“I would say ‘where’ depends on what is good at the time,” he said Tuesday, when asked where it could potentially include Carro. “We like to think that the United States, especially the New York Stock Exchange, or the Nasdaq, would probably be a good exchange to potentially list the company.”

Carro said the new funds will be used to strengthen its market position and expand products and services sold in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. It would also be used to accelerate the development of the company’s artificial intelligence technology that is used to facilitate transactions on the site.

Some of the largest startups in Southeast Asia are also preparing to go public.

Singapore-based private transport company Grab announced in April that it would go public through a “blank check” merger valued at $ 39.6 billion; The special purpose acquisition company deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter. Elsewhere, the recently merged Indonesian tech giant GoTo Group is also in talks to go public.

Venture capital firm 500 Startups recently told CNBC that Grab and GoTo’s initial public offerings could spark more startups in the region.

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