Rise of the Malaysian Unicorn
Tatler Malaysia|September 2021
Southeast Asia’s leading used car platform, Carsome has the honour of being Malaysia’s first tech unicorn. It’s a watershed moment for co-founder Eric Cheng who wants to change the way we buy cars in the future
Chong Jinn Xiung

In 2013, venture capitalist Aileen Lee coined the term ‘unicorn’, used to describe privately held startup companies with a value of over US$1 billion. While these companies were rare at the time, more have since emerged, and it has become every aspiring startup founder’s dream to build a unicorn company one day.

While not every startup makes that dream come true, that dream became a reality for Carsome cofounder and group chief executive officer Eric Cheng. The company became Malaysia’s first tech unicorn in July 2021 after it acquired a stake in iCar Asia Ltd, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

All this didn’t happen by chance. Cheng, a Gen.T 2019 honouree, firmly believes that his success proves that it doesn’t matter what kind of background you come from. “So long as you can dream it and work very hard, anything is possible,” he says. It also goes to show that Malaysians have what it takes to be successful on a regional and international level.

While Carsome is Malaysia’s first tech unicorn, Cheng is certain that it will not be its last. He hints that he knows of several other Malaysian startups that are poised to follow Carsome’s path, and we may see more unicorns sprouting up in the near future.

THE MAKING OF A STARTUP UNICORN

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM TATLER MALAYSIAView All

Nadia Ismadi

The SaphX Technologies co-founder and CEO created her fintech startup with the objective of helping gig workers access financial institutions, which typically shun them

2 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
October 2021

On The Road

With remote working becoming the norm, enjoy a change of pace with ideas that combine work and play

2 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
October 2021

ASIA'S MOST STYLISH MALAYSIA'S GOT STYLE

Yes we do—and our honourees for 2021 are living proof. From polished and immaculate classicists to irreverent and trend-defying iconoclasts, these trailblazing individuals are the ones to watch

10+ mins read
Tatler Malaysia
October 2021

A Season to Remember

Huge-scale Oktoberfest celebrations used to be all the rage in this country. Whatever happened to them?

3 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
October 2021

More Than Just Digital Art

We speak to two NFT experts and a digital artist to understand why NFTs are here to stay and the potential they hold beyond the realm of digital art

4 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
October 2021

Black Beauties

American artist Mickalene Thomas, who has changed the way we look at Black bodies, is presenting her life’s work in New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong this autumn

8 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
October 2021

Celebrating Two Decades of Passion and Dynamism

Luxury watch retailer Swiss Watch has grown to become one of the leading watch retailers in the region with a presence in four countries

5 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
October 2021

The Kids are Alright

Entrepreneurs Shiva Shabani and Calvin Yu discuss channelling your inner child and their eyewear brand, Sons + Daughters

4 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
October 2021

Recharge and Reconnect in the Maldives

From private islands to comprehensive public health and safety measures, the Maldives is a safe haven that guarantees its guests a stress-and-worry-free vacay

3 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
October 2021

The Magical Four

No need to head outdoors for a spa treatment. Nourish your skin at home with La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Collection

2 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
October 2021
RELATED STORIES

THE GREAT ESCAPE!

Hero dad dives into flames to save twin girls

2 mins read
National Enquirer
September 27, 2021

Bangkok to Bali and Beyond

Sail to the cultural wonders of Southeast Asia.

4 mins read
Global Traveler
August 2021

Have «comfort foods» PUT YOUR healthy diet ON THE BACK SHELF?

Nutrition Myth Buster Jonny Bowden says toss out the old nutrition advice along with the junk food. It’s time to start fresh before you start having health issues.

3 mins read
Natural Solutions
December 2020

PARANOIA

MAGGIE LINDEMANN SPILLS THE TEA ON HER UPCOMING EP, TRAN- SCENDING GENRES AND COLLABORATING WITH POP PUNK’S FINEST.

5 mins read
Inked
January 2021

COVID-19 TURNS MALAYSIA'S GLOVE MAKERS INTO BILLIONAIRES

Owner of Riverstone Holdings is now a billionaire with his share prices going up, keeping up with the increasing demand in protective gloves across the world.

2 mins read
Industry Leaders
September 2020

Offshore Safety

Voyaging on the boat they built together

10 mins read
Ocean Navigator
Ocean Voyager 2020

The Virus Clips AirAsia's Wings

The region’s premier discount carrier may have to lower its ambitions

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 20, 2020

Plant Power

Dr. Jonny busts the palm oil myth and sheds light on an estrogen-affecting phytochemical.

4 mins read
Clean Eating
January - February 2020

Fertile Fields

Best known as the home of pandas, the business scene in Chengdu is anything but black and white

7 mins read
Business Traveler
February 2020

Penang Looks Like A Trade War Winner

Malaysia’s electronics manufacturing hub is drawing renewed interest as China and the U.S. battle

3 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
November 25, 2019