Southeast Asia’s integrated car e-commerce platform Carsome Group Inc announced its first quarterly EBITDA positive result for first quarter (Q1 2024), continuing from its initial achievement in December 2023.

A key highlight of this achievement is the significant improvement in Carsome’s Gross Profit Per Unit (GPU), which marks profitability on a per-transaction level, Carsome said in a statement on Wednesday.

The GPU has notably increased by 48% year-on-year (YoY), primarily fueled by vehicle transactions, and is substantially augmented by Carsome’s AI-driven Pricing Engine, which utilizes big data for precise price prediction.

Apart from a strong increase in GPU contributed by transaction margin, the integration of data analytics, digitalization, and automation across the ecosystem, including ancillary services like financing, insurance, and aftersales through Carsome Capital and Carsome Aftersales, is pivotal in driving profitability.

This comprehensive application of technology enhances the effectiveness of both core operations and ancillary services, contributing to the GPU and leading to a marked increase in ancillary income per unit by over 80 percent in 2023, the company said.

Carsome has also marked another achievement in its growth trajectory, surpassing the sale of 500,000 cars since its inception in 2015. This milestone was achieved in just two years after crossing 100,000 cars in 2021. Last year, the group sold over 150,000 cars.

The group said it has achieved significant operational efficiencies, reducing Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) by 37 percent. This reduction was driven by leveraging its brand equity and the integration of its comprehensive ecosystem services, which streamlined the customer journey and enhanced cost efficiencies across the region.

Carsome Capital, the group’s financing and insurance arm, recorded over an 80 percent increase in 2023 revenues, resulting in a 3 times Profit Before Tax (PBT) year-on-year (y-o-y) increase. Carsome Capital was one of the group’s first entities to achieve PBT profitability, and 2023 marked its second consecutive year of net profitability, the company said.

Carsome also timed the growth of a financing business in Southeast Asia carefully in consideration for building a ready-to-scale origination and underwriting capability to serve the market.

PBT growth was mainly contributed by its quality origination capability developed with the group’s transactional platforms and robust in-house underwriting capability driven by more than 500,000 managed transactions and collective data insights from Carsome’s various listing and media platforms.

“The profitability milestone is not just a financial metric; it validates our business model and underscores our potential for long-term success. Having achieved profitability, we are poised for sustained growth, capitalizing on the considerable scale of our business in the region,” said Carsome’s Co-Founder, Chairman, and Group Chief Executive Officer, Eric Cheng.

“We are strategically expanding our services across the industry value chain, uniquely underpinned by our ownership of transactions—a distinct advantage in Southeast Asia. This is to provide our customers with peace of mind throughout the entire lifecycle of their ownership experience as we ensure end-to-end control of quality of services,” he added.

CARSOME Certified, the group’s retail line, has seen its customer satisfaction improve from an industry-high 77 Net Promoter Score (NPS) to 83 points, while its wholesale business achieved an NPS of 76 points.

The group’s digital monthly active users have grown to over 18 million from 2022’s 15 million through its content and media ecosystem, including brands under iCar Asia and Wapcar.

“While we are on track to achieve the group’s first full-year profitability this year, we are also continuing our long-term vision of driving profitable growth and extending our leadership in the region and the industry. The untapped potential within our market is immense, and we are just beginning this journey. Our commitment is to lead and innovate within the automotive sector, creating opportunities that anticipate and fulfill the evolving needs of our customers across Southeast Asia, “ added Cheng.

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