Singapore’s Carro Is a Unicorn With $360 Million Led by SoftBank

by BLOOMBERG

Carro, one of Southeast Asia’s biggest online marketplaces for used cars, has raised $360 million led by SoftBank Vision Fund II to fuel expansion in Thailand and Indonesia before pursuing a U.S. listing.

The fresh capital pushed Carro’s valuation to more than $1 billion, the company said in a statement. The business competes with Carousell and Carsome in Southeast Asia.

Carro, formally known as Trusty Cars Pte, is seeking to bolster its market position in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore as well as broadening its financial services. The company is targeting an initial public offering in the U.S. within the next two years, Chief Executive Officer Aaron Tan said in an interview.

“An IPO remains on the horizon for us,” Tan said. “Eighteen to 24 months is achievable.” He added that the firm is on track to handle more than 200,000 used-vehicle transactions this year.

SoftBank Group Corp. has minted a number of unicorns this year. They include Singapore-based patent analytics provider PatSnap and Indian banking technology provider Zeta.

Carro simplifies the car buying and selling process for both consumers and dealers by leveraging artificial intelligence, Greg Moon, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in the statement. SoftBank has been backing Carro since its venture capital arm SoftBank Ventures Asia first invested in the startup in 2016.