Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

CARRO unveils first-ever regional brand film via TBWA\Group Singapore

Singapore – Singapore-based CARRO has released its first-ever regional brand film ‘A Car’s Journey in Reverse’, produced by creative agency TBWA\Group Singapore and production houses Applebox Asia, Fuse Adventures in Audio and The Quiet Lab. 

Launching across Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, the campaign aims to elevate the overall awareness of CARRO’s brand, service, and values in a way that’s honest and fun. 

Said Katherine Teo, regional head of marketing, for CARRO, said, “This campaign is part of our larger regional market expansion plans, and our goal is to increase people’s confidence in purchasing a used car – importantly, one from CARRO.” 

Meanwhile, Simond Chew, creative lead of the brand, commented, “The purpose of this film is to help build CARRO long-term brand vision of trust. At CARRO, we will always be truthful about a car’s history – through our rigorous 160-point inspection and high-quality refurbishment process, we ensure that all CARRO Certified cars sold will be as good as new.” 

While used cars have been routinely flagged as the more affordable and sustainable option, there is a lingering perception that there are hidden risks when it comes to buying used cars due to a lack of transparency over their driving and maintenance history. 

Robert Nelk, associate creative director of TBWA\Singapore, said the intent of the film is to take a step back, literally, to cleverly showcase the bigger picture that when you buy a used car from CARRO, it comes with quality assurance. 

Christopher Hill, film director from AppleBox Asia, said, “By throwing the film into reverse, the story of the car’s history unfolds through the lens of the vehicle’s previous owners — everything from the car’s regular upkeep and maintenance to the unwanted bumps in the road.”

The film includes scenes of potential damage to the interior and exterior of the car, showing that if there are any defects, CARRO finds and fixes them, restoring the car to a condition that’s as good as new. 

To capture these damages occurring as authentically as possible, scenes in the film were carefully planned down to the smallest detail, with numerous footage re-shot to mirror realistic everyday situations. For example, the red CARRO was driven into the curb numerous times to trial-and-error for a scratch on the front bumper (that’s not too big and not too small) and was driven over an actual speed bump several times for the perfect milk-shake spill.  

To fully achieve the film’s vision, a stunt driver brought to life the experience of travelling back in time by driving in reverse, in real time, while the world moved forward. “This unique approach demonstrated CARRO’s pursuit of perfection, attention to detail and pride in their approach when it comes to going the extra mile for car buyers,” said Mark Peeters, associate creative director of TBWA\Singapore

Marketing Featured East Asia

Carro marks Japan expansion through SoftBank partnership

Singapore – Southeast Asian used car marketplace Carro is expanding its presence into Japan via a partnership with Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank. Through the partnership, Carro Japan aims to introduce its full suite of services, such as subscription-based services and car leasing in the local market.

The market expansion follows a local increase in demand for used cars and subscription-based services, resulting from the backdrop of rising prices of new vehicles and a growing need for car ownership. And yet, there has been difficulty of accurately assessing a used car’s valuation due to the inconsistent and lack of credible evaluation criteria.

With Carro’s Japan entry, it aims as well to support existing car dealers with leasing services and provide a highly competitive subscription-based service. In addition, Carro’s AI technology will be incorporated to accurately predict the valuation of used cars based on their history and data.

Meanwhile, SoftBank’s key role in Carro Japan will be to tailor services for the Japanese market, including marketing, sales, and collaboration with partner companies.

Aaron Tan, CEO and co-founder at Carro, said, “Japan is one of the leading automotive markets and most digitally-savvy countries in Asia. Our entry into Japan is the next natural step in growing our regional presence and helping traditional dealers expand their market reach across the country using our AI-technology-backed capabilities.”

With Carro’s entry into Japan, corporate clients can apply for the subscription-based service by stating their requirements for a used car via Carro Japan’s website, including vehicle size, mileage, non-smoking or smoking options, and more. A list of suitable used cars available for hire will be automatically generated for consideration

Tan added, “Over the next few years, we plan to capitalise on the growth of the used car market. We’ll start by providing car subscription services with SoftBank as a first step, and eventually plan to work with thousands of dealerships across Japan to play an active role in offering consumers a hassle-free buying and selling experience.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

myTukar teased new brand revamp in Peninsula-wide ‘unboxing’ event 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – myTukar, the Malaysia-headquartered trade platform for used cars, has recently unveiled a fresh new branding identity with the aim to reflect its strengthened branding and capabilities as part of the regional CARRO network. Ahead of the platform’s revelation on the rebranding, myTukar partnered with content agency Ensemble Worldwide to tease and build momentum around the launch through the #BetterTukar campaign.

The teaser campaign featured giant orange boxes with QR codes placed in various locations across the country. The unboxing started in Plentong, Johor Bahru during the myTukar 2022 AutoFair, then moved on to the Klang Valley area, and went north to Gurney Plaza, Penang, ending at the myTukar Retail Experience Center in Puchong. Mobile boxes were also seen across the other locations in Ipoh, Taiping, Alor Setar, Johor, and Penang.

Derrick Eng, CEO of myTukar, said, “The improvement to myTukar is beyond rebranding; we have integrated our capabilities, business, data intelligence and technical knowledge with our parent company, CARRO, to bring even better value to our customers. The Ensemble team has helped to present this venture in a brilliant and unconventional way as we look to introduce our rebrand to Malaysians.”

myTukar’s creative rebranding exercise, which includes new looks and colour schemes, is designed to reflect the CARRO parent company’s focused vision and direction to become Asia’s top used car ecosystem in the Southeast and beyond. The company prides itself on the services under its ecosystem, including financing, reconditioning & retail, wholesale & warranty, as well as after-sales maintenance, assuring end customers peace of mind that the cars they get are as good as new.

Norman Tang, creative director of Ensemble Worldwide, commented, “The teaser campaign to get the entire country to unbox is a first of its kind and lent an air of mystery to the campaign. We know Malaysians have been through a lot the [past] 2 years, and we’re at the endemic stage where recessions are looming, we set out to delight our customers with some relevant prizes. The all-new brand appearance of a fresh take in the growing used car industry is just the beginning, with a series of exciting new changes in store for myTukar as part of the CARRO network.”

The giant orange boxes with QR codes allowed lucky participants to stand a chance to win prizes worth up to RM20,000, with higher-tiered prizes revealed with more scans, adding a community element to unlock the best prizes. The teaser campaign also featured a microsite. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Carro acquires 50% stake in Indonesian rental company MPMRent

Jakarta, Indonesia – Southeast Asian automotive marketplace platform, Carro, has invested US$53.8m to become a 50% shareholder of Indonesian consumer automotive and transportation company MPMX’s car rental arm MPMRent.

This investment will see Carro providing MPMX with an end-to-end ecosystem for consumers in Indonesia, including an online marketplace, financing, and rental, as well as repair, and aftersales.

The move is part of MPMX’s continuous effort to unlock the value of existing businesses, as well as invest in innovation and accelerate its digital transformation. Through this, Carro will be bringing its fully integrated online ecosystem from car marketplace to financing, big data, AI access to a fast-growing vehicle database, and relevant computer vision and pricing algorithms technologies. 

As a result, MPMRent will now be able to solidify its leading market position as the leading regional car rental company in SEA, providing access to a rapidly growing network of workshops, strategic nationwide rental and auction locations, and a profitable and diversified customer base, as well as strong operational capabilities.

Suwito Mawarwati, MPMX’s group CEO, commented that they are pleased to announce the agreement with Carro, and they are also grateful for the support and active role of their parent shareholder, Saratoga, in realizing this partnership.

He further shared that the company and Saratoga believe that Carro is an excellent partner that would be able to add strategic value to the business of MPMX through its standing track records of success and operational experiences in a fully-integrated online automotive ecosystem.

“This is an important and exciting next chapter for MPMRent whereas this partnership will create a one-of-a-kind integrated online and offline automotive ecosystem in Indonesia that offers a complete product and services offering for our customers using the marketplace, from rental and financing to insurance serving B2B and B2C markets,” said Mawarwati.

Meanwhile, Aaron Tan, CEO of Carro, noted that they remain steadfast and committed to investing and advancing their business in Indonesia despite the uncertain global macro environment. 

“We look forward to partnering with MPM to supercharge growth and transform the customer’s experience through the hundreds of engineers and data scientists across the CARRO Group,” said Tan.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Funding Societies, Carro announce co-investment in Bank Index

Singapore — SME digital financing platform Funding Societies, also known as Modalku in Indonesia, alongside Southeast Asian automotive marketplace platform Carro, has announced its investment in Bank Index, an Indonesian national Bank. The move serves as a significant milestone in Funding Societies’ entry into the neobanking space and its drive to offer more high-impact digital financial services to underserved businesses in the region.

With a focus on SME Banking, Bank Index is a privately-owned national Bank with a strong nationwide footprint of 53 office network in major commercial areas across Jabodetabek, Java, Sumatra, Bali and Batam. Bank Index also conducts business across a range of commercial supply chains while offering mobile and internet banking services to its clients.

Kelvin Teo, co-founder and group CEO of Funding Societies | Modalku, said that their investment and partnership with Bank Index will support Funding Societies’ business strategy into neobanking. Teo adds that Bank Index shares the vision of empowering and developing SMEs.

“Since 2015, Funding Societies has been actively partnering with banks across the region, and our partnership with Bank Index will take FinTech-bank collaboration to the next level. Our complementary capabilities will enable us to serve SMEs better across banking, payments, lending and digital services to uplift Southeast Asia’s economies through small businesses,” Teo said.

On the co-investment, Jeremy Ong, CEO of CARRO Indonesia, said, “Bank Index’s plan for a sophisticated fintech industry, with a human touch at its core, aligns with our own vision of building capabilities and infrastructure that will serve customers across the automotive ecosystem — whether it’s buying, selling, SME financing, insurance or more. As such, co-investment was a natural choice. We strongly believe in the value of this partnership and are excited to be a part of this journey moving forward.”

Meanwhile, Gimin Sumalim, president director of Bank Index, added that they are delighted to welcome Funding Societies and Carro as shareholders of Bank Index.

“Together, we will partner to forge strategic initiatives based on our shared vision and mission, primarily to greatly expand our services to our target market. This collective step is also a reference point to continue pursuing comprehensive digital transformation.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SG-based Carro’s US$360m Series C funding to help fuel market expansion in SEA

Singapore – Automotive marketplace Carro has announced that it has raised US$360m in a Series C funding round, making it Southeast Asia’s first automotive marketplace unicorn in five years.

Led by Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank Vision Fund 2, this new round of financing also includes notable investors like the Indonesian-based fund EV Growth.

The newly secured funding will strengthen Carro’s market position and expand its retail offering across Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia, as well as Singapore, which are the markets that have seen significant growth in the past year. Carro will also enhance its portfolio of financial services by expanding beyond in-house loan financing and accelerating the development of its AI capabilities.

Carro’s CEO and Founder Aaron Tan shared that this is a huge milestone for them and they are grateful for the strong support from their investors, which reaffirms their belief in the transformative power of AI in the automotive industry to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

“As digitalization shapes the global landscape through new consumer habits and business practices, it is a very exciting time for an end-to-end online car marketplace like Carro,” said Tan.

Meanwhile, Greg Moon, the managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers, said that Carro is transforming the automotive industry in SEA by providing a seamless buying and selling experience for both consumers and car dealers. 

“Powered by AI, Carro’s technology platform provides consumers with full-stack services and transparency throughout the car ownership process. We are delighted to partner with Aaron and the Carro team to support their ambition to expand into new markets and use AI-powered technology to make the car buying process smarter, simpler, and safer,” said Moon.

Carro provides a full-stack service for all aspects of car ownership and uses AI-powered technology to transform the car buying and selling experience. It has pioneered innovative services such as Singapore’s first contactless car purchase service, first car subscription service, and the first region-wide behavior and usage-based car insurance.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

MY car trading platform myTukar expands to East Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Used car trading platform has announced its expansion to the untapped car trading market in East Malaysia by opening two myTukar inspection hubs located at Kuching, Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

According to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), used car sales grew by 100% in the first six months of 2020, a positive growth especially during Q3 of 2020, despite the ongoing pandemic.

“With the increased demand for used cars nationwide, we have also observed an increase in online trading among East Malaysians. Currently, only an estimated 26% of used car dealers in East Malaysia are conducting their transactions online,” said Fong Hon Sum, CEO of myTukar.

He added, “As myTukar’s mission is to simplify the process of selling used cars through digitalization within our online platform, we believe that it is the right time to enter the currently untapped East Malaysian market. The innovative myTukar platform is able to provide the needful support to used car dealers in East Malaysia, ultimately helping to increase sales for the dealers through a speedy, efficient, and cost-effective ecosystem.” 

This is not the first time the Malaysia-based used car trading platform has gone wide market expansions in the country.

In October of 2020, seven branches were opened by myTukar across Malaysia, bringing the total number of branches to 15, and transacting over 27,000 vehicles with an estimated value of RM805M.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Tribecar launches ‘Super Economy’ car rental

Singapore – As Singapore moves to phase three of reopening its community amid the pandemic, local car-sharing platform Tribecar has launched a ‘Super Economy’ rental for its cars starting at SGD$0.54 per hour.

The pricing package is a new addition to its slew of ‘Economy’ rentals, where the starting rate applies to rentals within ‘super off-peak’ hours, which are weekdays from 12 am to 6 am. In addition, in an aim to provide more value, the rental service has also extended its ‘off-peak’ hours to now cover weekday rentals from 6 am to 6 pm.

Each Tribecar’s service type corresponds to an available fleet for rental. For the ‘Super Economy’ package, only selected automatic vehicle models are available.

Together with the launch of the new service, Tribecar has also announced the adoption of the usage-based car insurance (UBI) by insurance company NTUC Income (Income) and automotive marketplace CARRO where motor insurance is no longer based on a fixed cost but tied to the vehicle’s smart data such as mileage, location and, timing consumption.

In November 2019, the two firms launched the first-ever car insurance model, dubbing it as ‘Pay-as-you-drive’ insurance. 

The joint initiative developed a usage-based motor Insurtech platform, combining telematics, insurance, and data analytics, designed to enable car rental firms in Singapore to mass adopt usage-based programs effectively. Tribecar said the new ‘Super Economy’ category has been made possible through its adoption of the model. 

“We’re very pleased to roll out this program with the aid of Income and CARRO. This adoption of UBI for our cars simply means transparency, lower prices, and tremendous savings for our members,” said Adrian Lee, co-founder of Tribecar.

Meanwhile, Max Tiong, head of digital transformation at Income, commented, “It is very encouraging to see the growing interest in new insurance models like usage-based insurance within the motoring community, which is testimony to the value it brings to drivers – customization and convenience.”

Founder and CEO of CARRO Aaron Tan also commented, “With a usage-based model that allows them to pay insurance based only [on] how much they drive, Tribecar’s customers can now enjoy a new level of flexibility with rental cars. With Income’s support in driving this transformation, we hope this partnership will help catalyze further efforts to use technology to meet the practical needs of today’s drivers.”

Lee revealed that Tribecar is experimenting with new ways to deliver greater value for its members, sharing that it is in talks with authorized car distributors in Singapore to roll out ‘Drive before you buy’ schemes for members that may be keen to buy a new car.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Carro’s myTukar deploys AI on own car trading platform

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Used car trading platform myTukar has announced the deployment of its artificial intelligence (AI) driven Car Defect Detection system and Car Plate Masking to its own platform.

The said service, developed via Amazon Web Services (AWS) and a combination of Amazon Rekognition and Amazon SageMaker, allows the platform to analyse images and videos using scalable and deep learning technology. In turn, this then automates and standardizes car inspection and uses AI to detect car defects such as dents, scratches and paint deterioration, while eliminating human error by up to 80%.

“The cutting edge myTukar AI was developed as a result of our passion to digitally transform the used car industry to ultimately benefit our customers and to digitize the industry. myTukar is the first tech company in the used car industry to set up an in-house data science team to provide both system efficacy and customization,” said Fong Hon Sum, CEO of myTukar.

He further added, “However, more than just digitalizing the used car market, the myTukar AI that we are implementing in our business operations today is but a glimpse of what is possible for the entire automotive industry in the near future. With a powerful self-diagnostic tool built on AWS such as myTukar AI, the entire customer experience within the automotive industry can be radically transformed.”

In addition, the AI algorithm also allows to produce car inspection report can be produced in seconds, consequently increasing the overall productivity and efficiency of myTukar’s operations within its 2,000 authorised dealerships.

“Most importantly, with the use of myTukar AI, we are benefiting our customers by strengthening the trust and increasing the transparency of the car inspection process,” Fong added.

The myTukar AI technology is set to roll out Carro Group’s Southeast Asia markets in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, a strategy to continuously expand and digitalize car trading for the Southeast Asia Region.