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MY car-sharing app SOCAR bags US$18m funding, eyes regional expansion

Malaysian car-sharing app SOCAR Mobility Malaysia has raised US$18 million in fresh funds at a valuation of US$118 million in its Series A funding exercise. This brings the company’s financing tally to-date to US$40 million and serves to facilitate SOCAR’s expansion in Southeast Asia.

The US$18 million will go towards technological enhancements and strengthening the growth and foothold of SOCAR in Malaysia and expansion into new countries by the fourth quarter of this year. The latest round of funding was from Eugene Private Equity and KH Energy.

In a statement to A+M, SOCAR’s spokesperson said it intends to invest in profitable marketing. This means that as long as the cost of acquiring each new user is justified by their lifetime value, SOCAR is happy to invest up to 10% of revenues at any given time to continue pushing out the SOCAR brand.

When SOCAR first launched in 2018, it aimed to empower a million individuals in Malaysia with the option to go carless by 2020. The spokesperson said it is confident of attaining that target and also aims to bring the SOCAR brand to other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia. Currently, the brand is available in Klang Valley, Johor Bahru, Penang, and Ipoh, with a fleet of over 2,000 cars in more than 1,000 locations. According to SOCAR’s spokesperson, its users include students who want affordable ways to access cars; working adults who enjoy the convenience of its zone locations; car enthusiasts who enjoy driving different car models; as well as travellers who want a stress free way of renting a car.

Leon Foong, CEO of SOCAR Mobility Malaysia, said the latest investment by Eugene Private Equity and KH Energy is “a clear indication” of their confidence in its current model of car-sharing, the individuals running the business, and its future expansion into other countries.

“Our conviction in shared mobility remains as strong as ever and we are very grateful to Malaysia and the government for supporting the multiflex movement. With our additional funds, we aim to improve on our technology platform and bring our services to other parts of Southeast Asia,” Foong said.

He added that SOCAR users can look forward to new improvements in the future, including a more seamless user experience on the app, new modes of car sharing, additional payment options and faster onboarding and processing of licence approvals for new users. “Our ultimate aim is to be more than just a car to our multiflexers by offering them new modes of car sharing such as our one-way and SOCAR2U services,” Foong said.

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