Malaysia-based integrated car e-commerce platform Carsome has denied the report that it has petitioned to the Ministry of Finance in Malaysia for funding as its liquidity position remains strong at $150 million.

“Carsome seeks to clarify a recent news report and affirm that it has not solicited nor petitioned the Ministry of Finance for funding,” Carsome said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the firm, it submitted a letter on March 27 in response to an engagement session with the Ministry of Finance to encourage and welcome the participation of Malaysian institutional investors in the company’s growth journey.

“The group frequently engages in discussions with various stakeholders on ecosystem building and in driving institutional engagements,

“As part of these routine engagements, Carsome has always championed growth for the local start-up ecosystem which can positively contribute towards the nation’s economy and enhance the nation’s digital talent pool,” it said.

Carsome also emphasized that the group’s liquidity position remains robust at over $150 million, offering the company sufficient runway beyond its break-even point, which the group expects to achieve well ahead of its targeted deadline.

Carsome said it was among the first regional start-ups to commit to an accelerated profitability plan to prepare the Group for more disruptions and challenges in the funding markets.

It also said this approach has borne fruit, delivering operational profitability as a group whilst enabling Carsome to beat internal targets for gross margin growth and productivity improvements as of the first quarter.

It is noted that in 2022, the group grew 250 percent in revenue, with the newly established retail line Carsome Certified contributing 35 percent of total revenue.

In the first quarter, the group also achieved its operational profitability milestone for the first time, primarily driven by a significant growth of trade margin, which doubled compared to the same period last year.

Notably, more than 80 percent of the trade margin came from high-quality transaction margins, far ahead of most of its global peers.

Among the highlights of its ecosystem strategy, its subsidiary iCar Asia Group has delivered an impressive 30 percent year-on-year revenue growth in the first quarter.

In addition to achieving profitability on its own, the ecosystem strategy has also contributed significantly to the more than 60 percent reduction in customer acquisition cost of the group over the last twelve months.

With the launch of the flagship Carsome Service Centres, the group said it has meaningfully integrated its products and services, from discovery to servicing, all within a single consumer app.

This marks a major step in pursuing the group’s mission: to provide its customers with peace of mind through the entire lifecycle of their ownership experience.

Carsome said it is confidently poised for new opportunities in its markets across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore.

It said the group has a pipeline of growth initiatives across its ecosystem and welcomes broader institutional support.

“As we navigate a rapidly changing industry, Carsome has embraced adaptability and remained resilient,

“Through our commitment to operational excellence and our customer-centric approach, we are grateful to have exceeded our expectations, achieving notable growth whilst pursuing
profitability,” said CARSOME’s Co-founder and Group CEO Eric Cheng.

According to him, the group’s internal measures for operational excellence, driven by strong capabilities in data and technology, continue to yield gross margin improvements, team productivity, marketing efficiencies, and inventory management across its markets.

“Coupled with this, Carsome will take full advantage of its ecosystem strategy to redefine customer satisfaction in automotive ownership to serve its growing customer base and communities across Southeast Asia,” he said.

As the used car industry evolves rapidly, Carsome said its market share continues to be on an uptrend across its footprint.

It said the firm remains to be one of the last few larger players in the used car e-commerce space in Southeast Asia.

It said some of its competitors are reported to be exiting prime growth markets like Indonesia and Thailand, and other peers are pivoting into capital-intensive financing operations.

It said Carsome’s focus remains on solving the pain points in high stake, high-complexity transactions and providing the ultimate customer experience in automotive ownership.

CARSOME is Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e commerce platform.

With operations across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, the firm aims to digitize the region’s used car industry by reshaping and elevating the car transaction and ownership experience.

Together with subsidiary brands iCar Asia, WapCar and CarTimes, Carsome provides end-to-end solutions to consumers and used car dealers across the decision funnel, from car content consumption, car inspection, ownership transfer to financing and other ancillary services.

Carsome currently has more than 4,000 employees across all its offices in Asia.

Breakeven is near for Malaysian unicorn Carsome, says CEO Eric Cheng