From the outset the company had ambitions to expand. “We always knew that investors would want to know where we were going next,” says Tan. For the company to grow and expand internationally it was critical to find a likeminded, future-facing financial partner. “We were looking for a partner with a footprint that complemented ours, one that had a presence in all our jurisdictions,” explains Tan. “More importantly, as a digital-only business we wanted a bank that believed in digitalisation.”
From both these perspectives HSBC was a natural fit. “We started working with Carro in 2021. The company was one of the first clients to tap into our US$200 million tech lending fund aimed at start-ups seizing opportunities within ASEAN’s booming digital economy,” says Regina Lee, Head of Commercial Banking, Singapore. The loan gave Carro access to SGD25 million in trade finance to expand their inventory.
The HSBCnet banking platform ensures a quick turnaround for Carro’s ongoing trade finance applications, while the bank’s suite of digital solutions means the company can manage its cash efficiently and put excess cash to good use. “We can streamline all operations into a single bank account across all our markets. HSBC’s solutions allow us to be nimble and efficient as a business.” says Tan.
Looking to the future, Carro is keeping a close eye on the electric vehicle (EV) market, which Tan believes will provide a strong tailwind on the business. The company has an IPO on its roadmap at some point in the future, and ambitions to expand further. “Within six years we’ve expanded from a Southeast Asia company to an Asia Pacific company,” says Tan. “In the near-term, we might look into Vietnam and the Philippines.”
“We are delighted to be supporting companies like Carro on their growth journeys and expansion into new markets,” says Lee. “Our clients can confidently tap into our on the ground expertise, and we can support them with award-winning digital solutions that make banking simpler and smarter.”