Sunday, April 14

Temasek-backed Carsome cutting hundreds of jobs to reach profit

Carsome Group, which operates a Southeast Asian used-car online marketplace, is cutting hundreds of jobs to reduce costs as it works to reach profitability ahead of a potential stock-market listing.

The company is eliminating positions across Southeast Asia, with Indonesia and Thailand the hardest hit, people familiar with the matter said. Carsome has scaled down its operations significantly in those two markets, which it entered in 2017, the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans aren’t public. It has about 4,000 employees.

Malaysia’s most valuable technology startup last year delayed its dual listing plans in Singapore and the US on concerns that deteriorating macroeconomic conditions could dent its valuation. The company expects to break even this year and is set to achieve its first full year of profitability in 2024, Chief Executive Officer Eric Cheng said in July. Carsome is preparing to be ready for an initial public offering, and when there is a window, the company can list quickly, he said at the time.

Carsome “makes adjustments to its workforce where necessary,” the company said in an emailed response to questions, declining to comment on specific numbers. “We remain committed to investing in all of our current markets and plan to accelerate profitable growth in 2024,” it said.

Higher interest rates combined with slowing economic growth and geopolitical tensions have hurt market sentiment and weighed on first-time share sales. Carsome raised $290 million early last year at a valuation of $1.7 billion in a series E round led by the Qatar Investment Authority as well as 65 Equity Partners and Seatown Private Capital Master Fund, both of which are backed by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte.

Founded in 2015, Carsome has expanded into Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. The company works with more than 13,000 dealers and sold more than 150,000 cars last year, according to its website. – Bloomberg

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