Retail

How An Online Automotive Deal Is Fueling A Retail Trend

online car sales

Automotive sales are increasing going digital — and more consumers are buying more used products of all types online. Those two retail trends have recently collided in Southeast Asia, where Carro, an automotive marketplace and financing provider, reportedly has bought Jualo, an online marketplace for used goods from some 300 product categories.

According to the report, the deal comes as Carro raised some $30 million in fresh capital. “Jualo has amassed 4 million monthly active users and facilitated transactions worth $1 billion last year,” the report stated. “Carro, which operates in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, said more than $500 million worth of vehicles were sold last year on its platform, up from $250 million in 2017 and $120 million the year before.”

Online Auto Sales

The deal is not the only recent news involving the online retail sales of automobiles.

Truebil, an India-based online marketplace to buy and sell second-hand cars, has raised $14 million in a Series B round led by Japanese investor Joe Hirao, the founder of ZIGExN. Launched in 2015, Mumbai-based Truebil was founded by former Housing.com employees Suraj Kalwani, Ravi Chirania, Shubh Bansal, Rakesh Raman and Shanu Vivek, along with former Fab.com executive Ritesh Pandey and former Rio Tinto official Himanshu Singhal. The online marketplace focuses on peer-to-peer sales of cars in Indian cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, and also offers services such as free inspection, valuation, quick sell guarantee, vehicle buying consulting, smooth paper transfer, loan assistance, insurance and more.

“We are currently selling over 600 cars per month — and with our strong tech backbone, we are making aggressive strides towards becoming the numero uno used car retailer platform in India,” Kalwani, chief executive of Truebil, said, according to VC Circle.

Truebil isn’t the only car marketplace that has caught Hirao’s attention. His family office led a $30 million funding round last year in Truebil’s rival Droom, founded by Sandeep Aggarwal, founder at ShopClues. That money came a few months after the startup raised another $30 million in its Series D round, led by Japanese firms Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Digital Garage.

Retail Waste

Amidst all this, the sale of other used goods online continues to gain popularity. Part of that comes from retail waste.

Waste is becoming ever more of a vice, especially among younger consumers, and now regulators. And that seems likely to create new opportunities for certain types of online merchants.

News from France in June supports those points.

There, according to The New York Times, authorities plan “to outlaw the destruction of unsold consumer products, a practice that currently results in the disposal of new goods worth 800 million euros, or more than $900 million, in the country each year. By 2023, manufacturers and retailers will have to donate, reuse or recycle the goods” under a program that the French prime minister called the first of its kind from any national government. Destruction of such goods would result in fines, at least according to the proposed law set for debate in July.

Amazon apparently played a part, indirectly at least, in turning public opinion against such retail waste. The report said that French TV reporters “followed the path of brand-new, unsold goods destined for disposal at the online retailer Amazon’s warehouse near the eastern town of Chalon-sur-Saône. Plastic toys, a coffee maker and sealed packs of diapers were among the goods destined for destruction at the warehouse. Some were brought to waste management facilities and destroyed, and others were taken to a landfill, the investigation found.”

Online liquidation is nothing new, of course, but it’s gaining force and taking new forms, as the YouTube videos demonstrate. The idea is the oldest in retail: Buy low — very low, in fact — and sell high, usually via eBay and other online marketplaces. The gamble does not pay off for everyone, including hopeful amateurs who often see a quick path to riches, as a recent article in The Atlantic about the “reverse supply chain” described. But the opportunities are real.

Investors have taken notice. Last year, for instance, B2B marketplace operator B-Stock, as reported in a PYMNTS interview with its CEO Howard Rosenberg, raised $65 million from Spectrum Equity.

Retail grows via various trends, and right now, both automotive and the sale of second-hand goods online are providing fuel for growth and innovation.

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