SoftBank led US$360m funding fuels AI-powered technology ambitions of online used car platform Carro, says GlobalData

Following the news that Singapore-based online car sales platform Carro raised US$360m in a fresh funding round;  

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“On the back of the fresh funding led by Japan’s SoftBank, the valuation of Carro exceeded US$1bn and it became the latest player to join the league of unicorns in Southeast Asia.

“Online used car marketplace has been gaining significant relevance with people preferring to have own vehicles over using public transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, investors are seeing it as an opportunity with companies active in such promising areas continuing to be on their radar.

“Meanwhile, the fresh funding round could be a pre-IPO capital raising move by Carro to strengthen its cash position as it plans to go public within the next two years. GlobalData expects to see more such capital raising moves by Carro before it goes public.

“The funds will help the Southeast Asia’s new unicorn in scaling up by enhancing its technology development and further strengthen its retail offering across some of the key markets across the region such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. In addition, the company plans to enhance its portfolio of financial services by expanding beyond in-house loan financing, as well as accelerate development of its artificial intelligence capabilities.

“Carro also plans to use the funds for inorganic growth and keep an eye on attractive M&A targets as it did earlier. For instance, the company raised US$30m in August 2019 and used the capital for the acquisition of Jualo.com.”

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