500 Southeast Asia
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500 Southeast Asia

Durians Daily #62: Carsome’s V-shaped recovery amidst the pandemic; Fave supports MSMEs with the Malaysian government; Naluri selected for APAC digital health accelerator program

Full speed ahead

  • Carsome, the 500-backed second-hand car platform, has recorded a “V-shaped” recovery once reopening for business in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand after the easing of pandemic-related lockdown measures.
  • In June, Carsome has almost fully recovered its high transaction volume pre-lockdown periods, leading to a three-fold jump over May 2020, and over 70% year-on-year increase. This was despite most of its inspection centers operating in a limited capacity during the lockdown periods.
The Carsome Senior Management Team / Credit: Carsome
  • “We were able to see the rebound within a few weeks because we are accelerating our digitalization process. We are on the right path to achieve our highest growth ever in July,” CEO and co-founder Eric Cheng says.
  • Eric adds that the rising demand for new and used cars was prompted by consumers who wanted to avoid using ride-sharing services and public transportation during the pandemic and the introduction of new tax tariffs in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Credit: Carsome
  • Carsome was also well-prepared to hit the ground running as soon as it could open doors. During the lockdowns, it worked to accelerate product development to create new apps — CarsomeGO and CarPartner — that automate workflow and decision-making processes at its inspection centers.
  • There’s more to the story. We spoke to Eric to understand more about Carsome’s road to recovery and how the team huddled together to turn things around, amongst other crucial and timely pivots.
  • The exclusive interview will be out next week. Stay tuned!

Save our fave

  • The implications of the coronavirus pandemic on micro and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are severe. In Malaysia, some businesses expected zero cash flow for three months during the lockdown measures.
  • As such, the government has introduced a short-term economic recovery plan called PENJANA to help entrepreneurs get back on their feet.
  • 500-backed Fave has been appointed as one of the key drivers, lending its expertise in e-commerce in the form of funding and cash-backs.
Credit: The Honey Combers
  • Fave is co-funding the government’s budget in this campaign and providing additional marketing funding of RM10,000 per merchant in the form of promotion codes and e-Cashback incentives to merchants’ customers, according to the News Straits Times.
  • With the exposure to 5 million customers on Fave’s Malaysia platform, sales for merchants are projected to grow 10x within the next three months.
  • “With the recent recovery movement control order being implemented, the MSME E-commerce Campaign couldn’t have come at a better time in helping save jobs and stabilize those businesses most at risk,” says Fave Malaysia general manager, growth and operations Jason Wong.

Best of APAC’s digital health

  • 500-backed digital health startup Naluri has been selected to join the Asia Pacific Accelerator program, a tie-up between Los Angeles’ MedTech Innovator and the Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed).
  • The cohort consisting of 20 health tech startups from the APAC region will receive high-profile visibility to health care investors, stakeholders, and decision-makers, as well as customized mentorship through one-on-one matching with corporate partners to help with commercialization throughout the Asia Pacific.
Credit: Naluri
  • Besides, they will also receive in-depth support and mentorship from FMCG conglomerate Johnson & Johnson.
  • The sixth annual Asia Pacific MedTech Forum, held in Singapore from April 26–28 next year, will host the 20 startups for a special showcase, giving them the opportunity to present to an audience of more than 750 delegates, including health care industry leaders, health care providers, and investors from across the region.
  • Congrats, Naluri!

500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Durians family of funds. The 500 Durians funds have backed over 200 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.

This post is intended solely for general informational or educational purposes only. 500 Startups Management Company, L.L.C. and its affiliates (collectively “500 Startups”) makes no representation as to the accuracy or information in this post and while reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the information herein is accurate and up-to-date, no liability can be accepted for any error or omissions. All third party links in this post have not been independently verified by 500 Startups and the inclusion of such links should not be interpreted as an endorsement or confirmation of the content within. Information about portfolio companies’ markets, competitors, performance, and fundraising has been provided by those companies’ founders and has not been independently verified. Under no circumstances should any content in this post be construed as investment, legal, tax or accounting advice by 500 Startups, or an offer to provide any investment advisory service with regard to securities by 500 Startups. No content or information in this post should be construed as an offer to sell or solicitation of interest to purchase any securities advised by 500 Startups. Prospective investors considering an investment into any 500 Startups fund should not consider or construe this content as fund marketing material. The views expressed herein are as at the date of this post and are subject to change without notice. One or more 500 Startups fund may have a financial interest in one or more of the companies discussed.

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500 Southeast Asia

500 Southeast Asia

500 Southeast Asia is an early-stage VC firm; The company has backed over 250 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology.