Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance invests in Singapore car startup Carro

04, Aug. 2021

(Photo courtesy of Carro)
(Photo courtesy of Carro)

SINGAPORE, NNA - Japan's Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. has invested in Trusty Cars Pte. Ltd., a Singaporean online automotive marketplace startup known as Carro.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, a member of Japanese insurance giant MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc., plans to beef up existing ties with Carro and promote joint businesses, it said in a news release Monday.

The Tokyo-based nonlife insurance company made the investment by participating in a Series C funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, a SoftBank Group Corp.-led megafund investing in growing technology companies.

Through the funding round in June, Carro raised S$477 million (US$353 million) and obtained the status of a "unicorn company," meaning an unlisted startup valued at more than US$1 billion. Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance did not disclose its investment amount and ratio.

Carro, set up in 2015, focuses on online used car sales operations, while participating in after-sales businesses such as repair and road services, as well as financial services including loans and insurance, according to the news release.

In January 2020, MS&AD Insurance Group made an initial investment in Carro through its corporate venture capital MS&AD Ventures.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and Carro agreed on a business alliance in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in December that year and have promoted initiatives such as automobile insurance sales, it said.

Through the latest investment, the Japanese company plans to reinforce its alliance with Carro, and in addition to insurance sales using digital technology, they envision promoting joint efforts to develop new automobile insurance products and create automobile-related businesses, according to the news release.

A Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance spokesman said the company hopes to continue placing importance on Asia, where it has advantages, while putting efforts into North America. (NNA/Kyodo)