Singapore-based online used car marketplace Carro has signed a SGD 75 million ($55.52 million) multi-currency loan with HSBC to fund its fintech arm, Genie Financial Services.

Carro said in a statement on Thursday that the firm is the first of HSBC’s clients to tap into the bank’s recently launched $1 billion ASEAN Growth Fund.

“HSBC has been a very supportive partner and one of very few banks who recognize the need to support regional start-ups like us to achieve sustainable profitable growth,” said Aaron Tan, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Carro.

According to him, the firm fintech business, leveraging proprietary data-driven lending, has been growing prudently with a loan book exceeding SGD 500 million ($370 million) and non-performing loan (NPL) below 0.5 percent,

“Securing this landmark financing from HSBC is a huge validation of our digital ecosystem-led business model,

“This enables us to serve the underserved consumer segment even better,” he added.

Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer of Carro, also applauded HSBC’s ability to structure creative and bespoke financing solutions for start-ups like them, resulting in
this unique one of a kind asset-backed financing in the region.

“This significantly strengthens our balance sheet and diversifies our funding channel particularly in Malaysia, so that we can focus on growing our business more effectively,

“This will add another SGD 75 million ($55.52 million) to our existing liquidity of nearly SGD 350 million ($259 million) as of our recent financial year-end,” he added.

Genie Financial Services is a next-generation fintech automotive financing provider in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand

Carro is currently present in seven markets, having just entered Hong Kong and Japan.

The firm generates nearly $1 billion in revenues, recently achieved over 11 times year-over-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) growth to hit a record $34 million, and is operating profit positive, based on its latest financial year-ending March 2024.

The unicorn startup has raised over SGD 700 million ($518 million) from Softbank Vision Fund and several sovereign funds.

It is noted that HSBC has embarked on a mission to support leading high-growth champions in Southeast Asia’s booming digital economy, providing crucially needed working
capital to achieve economies of scale and grow their asset base.

According to the statement, Southeast Asia’s digital economy is among the world’s fastest-growing at $218 billion in total value of transactions, whilst used cars is the largest consumer segment in the region with at least $60 billion by transaction value.

“HSBC has a proud history and strong heritage in ASEAN of supporting entrepreneurs and scaling up businesses,

“We are delighted to arrange a multi-currency loan facility for Carro, through our unique $1 billion ASEAN Growth Fund, as they grow their operations,” said Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking, South and Southeast Asia, HSBC.

According to her, ASEAN’s booming digital economy has so much potential for growth as the region’s digitally native working population consumes more goods and services online.

Priya Kini, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Singapore, shared that during this period of market volatility, it’s important that fast growth companies such as Carro are supported consistently to realise their full potential.

“We have a longstanding relationship with Carro that started when they were still at the early stage of their growth,

“It’s especially gratifying to know that we can continue to deepen our support through the HSBC ASEAN Growth Fund as they scale and further expand their business,” she added.

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