Singapore-based Carro, is in overdrive. The online platform for buying and selling used cars in Southeast Asia joined the unicorn startup club in June when it completed a $360 million funding round that boosted its valuation to $1 billion. Speaking by phone, Tan says Carro is just getting started: “The plan is to look to become a decacorn in the next few years, as soon as possible.”
But before he can hit that 11-figure milestone, he’ll have to contend with some tough escorts in Tokyo competition. Probably the biggest threat is Carsome, the Malaysia-based used car platform that goes head to head with Carro in the same markets. It announced in July that it will partner with entrepreneur Patrick Grove’s Catcha Group to acquire Australia-listed iCar Asia in a $200 million share-swap deal (subject to shareholder approval).
The combined company would have $1 billion in revenue and make Carsome Malaysia’s first tech unicorn and Southeast Asia’s most valuable online car marketplace, the company says. It’s also publicly mulled plans for a listing, possibly within the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, Carousell, a Singapore-based online classified marketplace, said earlier this year that it would “aggressively” expand its auto trading business with a consumer-to-business bidding escorts platform and financial offerings such as auto loans. The popularity of used cars has been increasing, according to a report published last year by Singapore-based researcher Momentum Works, as people around the region have turned to more-affordable options. The relatively low car-ownership rate in Southeast Asia means there can be relatively high growth of secondhand cars off a low base.