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Malaysia's Carsome raises $170 million to reach $1.3 billion valuation

08/31/2021 | 07:45pm EDT
A general view of traffic in a business district in Kuala Lumpur

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Southeast Asian used-car marketplace Carsome Group said it has raised $170 million in a funding round from investors including Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek, cementing its position as Malaysia's largest tech unicorn, valued at $1.3 billion.

The valuation comes as Southeast Asian startups are attracting strong interest from regional and global funds, driven by robust growth rates, as investors take bets on post-pandemic plays. https://www.reuters.com/world/the-great-reboot/southeast-asia-tech-dealmaking-booms-investors-place-post-covid-bets-2021-08-27

"The most important thing we are trying to tackle is the distrust that's associated with the used-car industry," said Carsome's co-founder and chief executive, Eric Cheng, adding that consumers were becoming more open to buying cars online during lockdowns imposed in countries over the past year.

Six-year-old Carsome's competitors include SoftBank Vision Fund 2-backed Carro and OLX Auto in Indonesia, part of OLX Group, which runs global trading platforms.

Cheng said Carsome, which also operates in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, has been ramping up its retail centres and expanding its offerings, which include a five-day refund policy and a one-year warranty.

Carsome is looking to almost treble its revenue to nearly $1 billion this year from last year and expects to turn profitable on an operating level in 2022, its chief financial officer, Juliet Zhu, told Reuters.

It had raised a total of more than $100 million in its previous funding rounds.

Zhu said Carsome is considering listing in the United States within the next 12 months and is in talks with sponsors of blank check companies.

"We have always been envisaging ourselves to be listing on U.S. exchanges," Cheng said, citing comparable valuations with U.S.-listed car marketplaces available for investors.

Backed by the likes of Asian venture capital firm Gobi Partners and an arm of Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group, Carsome will use the funds to extend its spate of acquisitions.

This year, it acquired a stake in a Jakarta-based car and motorcycle auction service and agreed a deal with Australia-listed iCar Asia, which offers listing sites in Southeast Asia.

Carsome said one of the largest sovereign wealth funds from the region joined the latest funding, but it declined to identify the fund. Carsome also secured new credit facilities of $30 million.

Rothschild & Co is the financial adviser on the fund raising.

(Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

By Anshuman Daga

© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ICAR ASIA LIMITED 0.00% 0.515 End-of-day quote.33.77%
MEDIATEK INC. 1.42% 926 End-of-day quote.23.96%
MITSUBISHI UFJ FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. -0.32% 652.7 End-of-day quote.43.10%
MSCI SINGAPORE (GDTR) 0.14% 6826.193 Real-time Quote.17.29%
SOFTBANK GROUP CORP. 0.55% 6610 End-of-day quote.-17.97%
WT MICROELECTRONICS CO., LTD. -1.74% 62 End-of-day quote.53.85%
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Analyst Recommendations on MEDIATEK INC.
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Sales 2021 484 B 17 378 M 17 378 M
Net income 2021 102 B 3 651 M 3 651 M
Net cash 2021 191 B 6 864 M 6 864 M
P/E ratio 2021 14,5x
Yield 2021 5,90%
Capitalization 1 477 B 52 904 M 53 032 M
EV / Sales 2021 2,66x
EV / Sales 2022 2,33x
Nbr of Employees -
Free-Float 91,2%
Duration : Period :
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Technical analysis trends MEDIATEK INC.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 24
Last Close Price 926,00 TWD
Average target price 1 311,68 TWD
Spread / Average Target 41,7%
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Managers and Directors
Li Hsing Tsai Chief Executive Officer & Director
Kuan Chou Chen General Manager
Ta-Wei Ku CFO, Head-Finance & Accounting
Ming Chieh Tsai Chairman
Yue Chun Chou Chief Technology Officer & Senior Deputy GM
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