From their work with purpose-led start-up teams, BurdaPrincipal Investments have made some observations where social purpose provides start-ups with distinctive competitive advantages.
Malaysia-based company Carsome is the leading used car marketplace platform in Southeast Asia. In June, Carsome has almost fully recovered its high transaction volume pre-lockdown periods, leading to a threefold jump over May 2020, and over 70 percent year-on-year increase.
The high growth was registered despite having most of its inspection centers operating in limited capacity during the lockdown periods.
Carsome co-founder and group chief executive officer, Eric Cheng attributes the quick recovery to the resilience of the sector, as well as the decision to persevere and intensively train Carsome’s workforce during the lockdowns amid industry layoffs, which contributed to significant productivity improvement and high team morale.
“We continuously invested in strengthening the core competencies of our team during the lockdowns. We are pleased to see a strong V-shape recovery in a matter of weeks, in part due to our accelerated digitalisation and strong market share gains over our competitors. Our business model has proven to be resilient, and we are on track to deliver all-time-high growth in July.”
Eric Cheng, CEO of Carsome
Cheng further added that during the lockdowns, Carsome accelerated product development so that the company could be the first out of the gate post-lockdown.
“We pushed ahead with several product launches, namely our "CarPartner" and "CarsomeGO" mobile apps, to further automate workflows and decision-making,” Cheng said.
"CarPartner" is a mobile app that allows Carsome’s partners to make car inspection appointments, check appointment statuses, and get estimated car values instantly. "CarsomeGO" is a separate mobile app in Indonesia that allows local used car dealers to bid for cars on-the-go, at their own comfort.
According to Cheng, Carsome will continue the upbeat momentum for the rest of the year with several new projects, including creating a significantly different experience buying used cars, as well as upskilling the workforce through accreditation.