Singapore’s Automotive Startup Motorist Closes S$1.2 Million Seed Funding

Motorist management team: (from left to right) Jake Ler (Chief Marketing Officer), Damian Sia (Chief Executive Officer), Eugene Foo (Chief Operating Officer). Photo credit: Motorist.sg.
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Funds will be deployed to explore growth opportunities in Singapore and Malaysia, and kickstart its expansion into Thailand.

Motorist, a motoring superapp, has closed S$1.2 million (US$ 893,555) in seed funding invested by an AngelCentral syndicate led by active angel Lim Der Shing, co-founder of JobsCentral. AngelCentral is a fast-growing angel investment club with a strong pool of enthusiastic angel investors who fund and support quality startups in Southeast Asia.

The seed round also saw participation from previous investors, Royston Tay, co-founder of Zopim, and Huang Shao-Ning, co-founder of JobsCentral.

Flood feature. Photo credit: Motorist.sg
Flood feature. Photo credit: Motorist.sg

Use Of Funds

The funds raised will allow the company to accelerate its growth trajectory in Singapore. Currently, Motorist is the leading vehicle auction platform in Singapore, having served close to 500,000 drivers and facilitated over $600 million worth of vehicle transactions. Revenue has grown five times between 2018 to 2021, and the company believes there is vastly more untapped growth potential in the vehicle auction space and across the entire vehicle ownership cycle. The raised funds will help Motorist accelerate even faster and create an ecosystem of smart tools and services that will help car owners with vehicle purchases, vehicle loans and motor insurance.

Additionally, funds will also be deployed to support the expansion into Thailand, its third market. The earlier announced entry into Thailand has been delayed due to the pandemic. Motorist aims to be operational in Thailand by the end of 2021. It is currently operational in Malaysia and Singapore and has a tech team in Vietnam. Motorist is looking to hire more than 100 employees across all four markets in the coming months to fuel its growth.

The founder and CEO of Motorist, Damian Sia, hailed from Republic Polytechnic which has been instrumental in supporting Motorist’s startup journey. Since 2015, the polytechnic has supported Damian in pursuing his entrepreneurial aspirations through mentorship, funding support and connection to the venture capital community. Damian has remained connected with his alma mater and contributed to exploring new mobility innovations and collaboration in capability development projects.

Lead investor, Lim Der Shing said “I was an early Angel investor in Motorist a few years ago and have tracked Damian and his team for more than two years before investing further in them. They have demonstrated their ability to be capital efficient and have built a profitable multimillion-dollar business by mostly bootstrapping.”

Motorist app screen. Photo credit: Motorist.sg
Motorist management team: (from left to right) Jake Ler (Chief Marketing Officer), Damian Sia (Chief Executive Officer), Eugene Foo (Chief Operating Officer). Photo credit: Motorist.sg.
Motorist management team: (from left to right) Jake Ler (Chief Marketing Officer), Damian Sia (Chief Executive Officer), Eugene Foo (Chief Operating Officer). Photo credit: Motorist.sg.

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