Carro, the Singapore-based online used car platform, has on Monday announced that it is making a strategic investment into Driven Communications, a Malaysian automobile content provider.

Carro said in a statement that Driven Communications comprises a portfolio of websites including (automotive review and news vertical content), (buyer’s guide) and (used car classifieds).

According to the statement, is amongst the first and the largest independent automotive review website in Malaysia, drawing monthly active visits of up to 6 million traffic organically and regularly ranks as the top most visited automotive website nationwide.

With an emphasis on independent reviews and editorials, it said has grown to be a household brand with a huge loyal following.

As part of the investment, Driven Communications co-Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) Paul Tan and Harvinder Singh will continue to helm the business.

The board of directors will remain unchanged and employees will be assured continued employment.

Driven Communications will also continue to have complete autonomy over its editorial direction and decisions.

The investment is expected to be completed within two months.

“We welcome Carro’s strategic investment and our shared vision of a better, digitalized, transparent automotive used car ecosystem,” said Paul Tan, Founder and co-CEO of Driven Communications.

Like many businesses, he said Driven Communications suffered financially during COVID-19.

“We are thankful for Carro’s future support that will protect our sites that loyal fans have come to love, save jobs and ensure continued independent reviews,” he added.

Harvinder Singh, co-CEO of Driven Communications, said the firm is thrilled to know that Carro respects its editorial independence, its work with its customers and encourages them to charge arm’s-length commercial charges to Carro group of companies.

“With this investment, we are looking forward to achieving profitability and growth beyond Malaysia,” he added.

Aaron Tan, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Carro, said the firm has been working with Driven Communications for nearly two years.

“They helped us launch our first myTukar Autofair in Malaysia and their digital online reach was incredible. Feedback from other automotive participants has been amazing; original equipment manufacturer (OEMS) and end-customers alike rely on them,

“It would be a shame that it does not have the right resources and tools to scale higher,” he added.

Strategically, this investment is also a proactive move to promote openness and independence.

Recent acquisitions of automotive classifieds and sites by fellow industry players have resulted in multiple dealers/platforms being blocked.

This stifles healthy competition and customer access across the region, and Carro hopes to change.

“We are believer that classifieds and other services under Driven Communications should continue to be made available to their existing clientele, as well as our customers, dealers and competitors – a move we hope all classifieds emulate, given the Malaysian government initiative to break down monopolies and anti-competitive behavior,” Aaron Tan said.

He said the firm also strongly supports its role to freely shape industry awareness and disseminate relevant information that will benefit end-customers and the industry, underpinned by facts and professional journalism.

“We aim to maintain a non-controlling stake and welcome other industry participants to jointly invest and support Driven Communications continued growth,” he added.

Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer of Carro, said the firm’s investment and support gives Driven Communications room to achieve immediate positive net income, putting them on a stable financial standalone footing with strong earnings growth potential.

“We believe it has the makings of a financially attractive investment for new investors,” he added.

Founded in 2015, Carro is Southeast Asia’s largest used car marketplace.

By offering a trustworthy and transparent experience, Carro transforms the traditional way of buying and selling cars through proprietary pricing algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled capabilities, and innovative technological solutions.

Carro holds a strong presence in key markets across Asia Pacific, including Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, and has recently expanded its reach to Japan and Taiwan.

The unicorn startup is supported by more than 4,500 employees across Asia-Pacific and has raised over $1 billion in debt and equity from Temasek, Softbank Vision Fund and several other sovereign funds.

Incorporated in 2008, Driven Communications is an integrated digital content and marketing services agency with a focus on the automotive industry.

Driven Communications also offers specialized marketing services for automotive brands including event management, digital solutions, photography and videography services.

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