DRB-HICOM invests in Carro’s auto fintech subsidiary Genie Malaysia

drb-hicom invests in carro’s auto fintech subsidiary genie malaysia

Edaran Otomobil Nasional Berhad (EON), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia-listed conglomerate DRB-HICOM, has made a strategic investment in Genie Malaysia, a subsidiary of Singapore-based online used car platform Carro.

In a joint statement on Thursday, the duo said the partnership combines DRB-HICOM’s decades of automotive experience with Carro’s proprietary tech-enabled platform to redefine auto financing in Malaysia.

The investment is aligned with DRB-HICOM’s move to enhance its automotive distribution eco-system.

The collaboration also unlocks valuable cross-selling opportunities for DRB-HICOM within Carro’s used car platform myTukar’s dealer network, comprising over 2,600 dealers nationwide.

“Fintech is an integral part of our digital used car ecosystem. DRB-HICOM’s strategic investment is a huge validation of Genie Malaysia’s differentiating business model,

“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with DRB-HICOM, which has invested in Carro since 2021,” Aaron Tan, Co-Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of Carro said.

EON Chief Executive Officer and DRB-HICOM of Automotive Distribution Head Akkbar Danial said he believes the investment will benefit both parties.

“Following our investment in Carro’s myTukar used car platform in 2021, we are excited to deepen this strategic partnership, and are confident that the synergy between our two parties will unlock unprecedented opportunities that will benefit our customers and drive mutual success,” he said.

He added that the experience of both parties in their respective markets will be mutually beneficial.

“As we venture into game-changing technology, our accumulated experience brings valuable insights and expertise to the table,

“We believe this experience will greatly benefit both parties as we navigate and innovate in this new technological landscape,” he added.

Beginning operations only in 2021, Genie Malaysia has successfully built a loan book of nearly MYR 600 million ($125 million) comprising a highly diverse loan portfolio.

With a data-centric approach, its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio has been maintained at less than 2 percent, better than most of its peers and even some banks.

“Genie Malaysia started because there is a ‘blue ocean’ market of underserved and unbanked car buyers who are unable to secure traditional bank financing,

“We have been able to combine data as well as the unique strengths of Carro and myTukar to democratise used car financing. Now everyone can own a car,” said Simon Chan, Chief Executive Officer of Genie Malaysia.

Carro Chief Executive Officer Ernest Chew noted that Genie Malaysia has been profitable from the first year.

“We have also shown how we can work with banks to help serve the underserved, whilst maintaining low to non-existent NPLs,

“Today, we are already working with two leading banks who have provided financing and are in the process of welcoming more,” he added.

DRB-HICOM is a firm with core businesses in the automotive, aerospace and defence, banking, postal, services, and property sectors.

The firm has 84 companies and more than 45,000 employees group-wide.

In the automotive sector, the firm is involved in the manufacturing, assembly and distribution of passenger and commercial vehicles, including the national motorcycle.

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

The firm transforms the traditional way of buying and selling cars through proprietary pricing algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled capabilities, and innovative technological solutions.

The unicorn startup has raised over SGD 800 million ($583 million) from Softbank Vision Fund and several sovereign funds.

It recorded its best-ever full-year positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $4 million in FY2023.

The group has a strong key presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, and has recently expanded into Japan and Taiwan.


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