On Tuesday, Southeast Asian online automotive marketplace Carro said, it has raised $360 million in its latest funding round that was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, becoming the region’s latest unicorn.
“The valuation for the company is well over a billion dollars,” said Carro, Aaron Tan, the CEO and founder of Singapore-headquartered Carro.
Carro aims to use the newly acquired capital to expand its footprint into new locations as well as grow its business in existing markets including Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. Further, it also plans on expanding its portfolio of financial services and accelerate the development of its artificial intelligence capabilities.
Carro’s digital platform allows consumers and wholesale businesses to buy and sell vehicles along with providing insurance and financing services.
Founded in 2015, Carro has raised more than $400 million in equity as well as $200 million in debt. Its previous investors include EDBI Pte, SoftBank Ventures Asia, B Capital Group and Insignia Ventures Partners.
“The company has started preparing internally for an initial public offering (IPO),” said Tan. “The plan is to IPO the company, hopefully, in the next 18-24 months in the U.S., depending on whether the market holds”.
While initially Carro suffered a setback from the coronavirus-induced COVID-19 pandemic, like many of its peers in the digital businesses, it is now benefiting from the user-shift towards online transactions.
“People are more willing to buy vehicles entirely online without the need to visit a showroom,” said Tan.
Carro booked revenues of $300 million for the year ending March 2021 and has registered positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, (EBITDA) for two years.