SOCAR, a car-sharing platform headquartered in South Korea but operates primarily in Malaysia, has secured US$18 million in Series A funding from Korean investors KH Energy and Eugene Private Equity.
According to a report by Malaysian news agency Bernama, SOCAR would be using the fresh funding to fuel its expansion into other Southeast Asian markets by the end of this year, starting with Indonesia.
In addition to its overseas expansion, SOCAR said it would also allocate a certain amount from the fresh funding to enhance its technology and strengthen the growth and foothold of the company in Malaysia.
The US$18 million in fresh funding brings SOCAR’s total funding raised to date to US$40 million and values the company at US$118 million.
The latest investment, according to SOCAR CEO Leon Foong, is a clear indication of investors’ confidence in the current model of car-sharing, the people running the business, and the company’s future expansion into other countries.
“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.
The startup was founded in 2012 in South Korea’s Jeju Island. In 2018, the company picked Malaysia as its first overseas market for expansion. It also appointed the former general manager of Uber Malaysia to lead its operations in the country.
Currently, SOCAR is available in the Klang Valley, Johor Bahru, Penang, and Ipoh in Malaysia, with a fleet of 2,000 cars in 27 different models in over 1,000 locations.
The company brands itself as Malaysia’s leading car-sharing network, with the sales pitch being “Your other car, Anytime, Anywhere!”
“After launching in Malaysia, we aspire to be more than just a product that Malaysians love but, more importantly, a company with values that represent innovation, empowerment, and progress,” SOCAR said on its website.