Socar Mobility Malaysia (Socar) recently announced that it has secured USD55 million (RM229.35 million) in its recent Series B funding exercise. The company, which operates a car-sharing platform, says it is currently valued at USD213 million (RM888.21 million).

The latest round of funding will see Socar receive equity and capital injection from South Korea-based EastBridge Partners as well as an investment from Malaysian multinational Sime Darby Berhad. Both are first-time investors in Socar and will bring the financing tally to-date to USD73 million (RM304.41 million). The new investment will be structured into two tranches, with 60% upfront and the additional 40% disbursed based on agreed conditions.

“We warmly welcome our new partners – EastBridge Partners and Sime Darby Berhad onboard Socar’s journey of growth, as we expand to bring multi-flex mobility to more countries in Southeast Asia,” said Leon Foong, CEO of Socar Mobility Malaysia.

“For us at Socar, the fact that we were able to have new equity partners join our growth journey during a global pandemic speaks of the confidence our partners have in Socar’s leadership in the car-sharing space and our ability to scale Trevo’s peer-to-peer business across the region,” he added.

“We are pleased to strengthen our relationship with Sime Darby Berhad, following existing collaborations with its Motors division, by expanding our strategic partnership into one based on equity interest,” Foong continued further.

The fresh investment will be used to further develop technological enhancements as well as investing in more safety and trust measures to improve Socar’s profitability. The company will also use its fleet expertise to introduce clean mobility to the masses, as evident by its partnership with Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).

Socar will look focus on improving its peer-to-peer Trevo platform to further empower fleet and private car communities. The company currently has a working partnership with Sime Darby Berhad, with Trevo being used for the “Fund Your Drive” programme in conjunction with Sime Darby Motors’ Sime Darby Auto Selection.

Meanwhile, EastBridge Partners’ investment into Socar aligns with its Korea+ core investment strategy that leverages EastBridge’s Korea and Pan-Asia network, whereby investments are focused on companies with strong fundamentals, high growth potential and global expansion prospects.

“Socar’s business model is fundamentally built around matching motorists to vehicles of their choice, thus improved platform efficiency driven by better accuracy in matching drivers and cars will generate additional revenue and savings that we can reinvest into making the car-sharing community safer and more reliable,” Foong elaborated.

“Once we achieve our targeted liquidity level for the platform, we can then work with partners to offer users other ancillary services that car owners and drivers need such as insurance coverage. When access to a car becomes as easy as tapping a button on your mobile phone, Socar’s position in the transportation ecosystem can transform the way people think about budgeting for mobility,” he added.