myTukar’s parent company Carro has reported a record EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for its latest financial year ending March 2023.
It achieved an EBITDA of US$4 million for the 12 month period. More impressively, ARR (annualised run rate) hit US$35 million towards the end of the financial year. What this means is that based on the monthly recurring profit rates towards the end of FY2023, it is projected that Carro will be able to hit US$35 million in profit for the next 12 months. Indeed, according to Carro CFO Ernest Chew, Carro expects to achieve a 10x EBITDA growth for FY2024, which is US$40 million.
“Not only did we hit record EBITDA in FY2023, our annualised EBITDA is tracking to plan with an EBITDA margin of ~4%. We expect to achieve 10x EBITDA this year. Even if we sold zero cars, we would be super-EBITDA positive today. Nearly 60% of our Gross Profit is from recurring ancillaries,” said Ernest Chew, CFO of Carro.
“This is the real benefit of a true, sustainable ecosystem-driven business model. We have almost no operational burn currently and EBITDA is positive across all our core markets. We have also built a fortress balance sheet and diversified our lending relationships to 17 financial institutions, who have offered us very competitive cost of financing,” he added.
How exactly does Carro make money, and how much? Carro sold and financed over 120,000 vehicles across Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. FY2023 Gross Profit Margin increased to 9%, with the final quarter ending on a high note with a GPM of 11%, more than doubling FY2022’s GPM.
This is underpinned by strong ancillary income growth, which represents close to 60% of Carro’s Gross Profit in the final quarter. Genie, Carro’s fintech business, also recorded strong growth across the region and kept non-performing loans (NPL) at 0.2%.
Indeed, the rules of the automotive industry even applies to tech unicorns. You know what they say about dealerships, that selling cars aren’t really their bread and butter, but the real money is made with all the supporting services like aftersales, insurance, and car financing.
It has invested in building aftersales capabilities. For example, they are currently running a promo where you can get 30% off its full car repainting service at its body and paint centres. You can get your car repainted in 4 days or you’ll be compensated with 50% off your bill if they are late.
Basically, even if you are not at the point of your life where you want to buy a car or trade in/sell your car, Carro can still get you to be their customer, because everyone has to maintain their cars, renew their insurance, and so on.
VIDEO: A happy Perodua Myvi owner gets her car repainted by MyTukar
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At the moment, Carro is highly liquid, with US$560 million in its warchest comprising of cash, monetisable assets/investments and financing receivables. It also has another US$120 million in undrawn approved bank lines.
Carro uses bank lines for its Genie business. It borrows at a low fixed rate, and then dispenses loans under the Genie business at a high fixed rate as well, so it isn’t affected by fluctuating interest rates. The profit margin is the difference between the two rates. Using AI and data, it is able to keep its NPL low.
Genie’s current loan book is currently over US$350 million and it is earning interest on that loan book. This means that Carro is not just an auto tech company, it is fintech as well.
While Carro has plenty in the bank and its finances are doing well, its main competitor Carsome told BFM Radio in an interview that the company has yet to breakeven but plans to do so this year. Last year, it was reported that Carsome had a layoff exercise in September 2022.
Although you frequently see folks from team yellow in photo ops with government officials, Malaysia’s money is on team orange. Malaysian government-linked fund Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) participated in Carro’s last Series C extension round back in November 2021. Carro also secured investments from Sime Darby and DRB-Hicom.
PNB pumped in US$25 million (RM115 million at today’s exchange rates) alongside Temasek’s US$30 million as part of the US$100 million round, which was an extension of an earlier US$360 million Series C led by Softbank Vision Fund 2.
Since then, Carro hasn’t had the need to raise any additional funding other than strategic investments, such as a recent investment in February 2023 from insurance tech firm ZA Tech to transform the auto insurance experience across the markets that Carro is present in.
Aaron Tan, co-founder and CEO of Carro says, “We are laser-focused on improving profitability and unit economics while optimising productivity and cost structure. It’s not about selling more cars; it’s about capturing more value and recurring income streams.”
“As other businesses continue to focus on GMV growth at all cost, we strategically doubled down on building a sustainable business model and leveraged our ecosystem to drive more recurring ancillaries across the entire ownership and usership lifecycle. Our fintech and mobility business made significant strides in FY2023. We have also laid foundations for stronger growth in our insurtech business via strategic partnerships with ZA Tech and MSIG. , as well as aftersales,” he added.
After all, no point being “number one” if you’re also the best at losing money, right?
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