Singapore-headquartered automotive startup Motorist has closed S$1.2 million ($891,781) in seed funding invested by an AngelCentral syndicate led by Lim Der Shing, co-founder of JobsCentral.

The seed round also saw participation from previous investors, Royston Tay, Co-Founder of Zopim, and Huang Shao-Ning, Co-Founder of JobsCentral, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

AngelCentral is an angel investment club with a pool of angel investors who fund and support quality startups in Southeast Asia.

The funds raised will allow the company to accelerate its growth trajectory in Singapore. Currently, Motorist is a vehicle auction platform in Singapore that has served close to 500,000 drivers and facilitated over $600 million worth of vehicle transactions.

Motorist raised its first round of angel funding in early 2019, according to its website. The funding round also came as Singapore’s used car platform Carro and Malaysia’s used car platform Carsome reached unicorn status respectively this year.

“We have evolved from a contemporary car-dealing platform to one that supports motorists in all stages of their vehicle ownership cycle. As we prepare for the opening of the economy, our team will accelerate our execution across markets to support more motorists in their ownership cycle”, said Motorist Founder and Chief Executive Officer Damian Sia.

Motorist, which describes itself as a ‘motoring superapp,’ said its revenue has grown five times between 2018 to 2021 and the company believes there is vastly more untapped growth potential in the vehicle auction space and across the entire vehicle ownership cycle. The raised funds will help Motorist accelerate and create an ecosystem of smart tools and services that will help car owners with vehicle purchases, vehicle loans, and motor insurance.

Additionally, funds will also be deployed to support the expansion into Thailand, its third market. The earlier announced entry into Thailand has been delayed due to the pandemic. Motorist aims to be operational in Thailand by the end of 2021.

It is currently operational in Malaysia and Singapore and has a tech team in Vietnam. Motorist is looking to hire more than 100 employees across all four markets in the coming months to fuel its growth.

“Motorist is now one of the leading car transaction platforms by Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in Singapore, a remarkable achievement given they are pitting against well-funded competitors,” Lead investor, Lim Der Shing said.

Motorist has grown exponentially since its inception in 2015. The Motorist App, which was officially launched in 2019, has grown to over 120,000 users in the last 2 years. Since its previous angel round back in January 2019, its GMV has grown from S$176 million ($130.76 million) to over S$650 million ($483 million) currently.

Currently, the app assists about 10 percent of Singapore’s overall vehicle population with vehicle management matters. It plans to scale and onboard 40 percent of the vehicle population to the Motorist App by 2023.

Motorist differentiates from its competitors by focusing on the entire vehicle ownership cycle. From maintenance, buying, and selling of vehicles, Motorist supports users from start to end.

New features have been introduced include its Car Group Chat feature in its app allows drivers with similar vehicles to share car-specific tips and insights with one other. Users can also find recommended workshops to service their vehicles under Workshop Directory and enjoy cash rebates with mPay, its online payment feature.

Motorist said it has also been building a team of data scientists and adding Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to further enhance and personalize user experience over time. More recently, Motorist added flash floods as one of the options for incident reporting on the app, allowing users to avert such incidents, which have been occurring in Singapore recently.

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