Hankook Invests in Used Car E-Commerce Platform CARMERCE

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Published on
March 2, 2023

Hankook Tire & Technology, an affiliate of Hankook & Company Group, recently announced its decision to invest KRW 3 billion (£1.9 million) as a pre-Series A investor in CARMERCE, a used car e-commerce platform in Korea. The investment contract was signed at the company's headquarter, Technoplex, in Pangyo on February 28th.

Revolutionising the Used Car Market in Korea

CARMERCE is Korea's first-ever used car e-commerce platform established by HANDLE, a mobile car distribution company. The platform allows customers to purchase a used car using their mobile device, eliminating the need to visit a physical dealership. The entire process, including vehicle purchase, registration, financial services, and returns, is carried out entirely on mobile, allowing for a non-face-to-face experience. CARMERCE is recognized for its excellence in addressing common problems in the used car market, such as unclear pricing, odometer rollbacks, and fraudulent sales. Last year, it received seed investment from the startup accelerator, SparkLabs.

Hankook Tire Recognises the Growth Potential of CARMERCE

Recognizing the growth potential and innovation of CARMERCE, Hankook Tire has decided to invest in the startup, contributing to the revitalization of the Korean venture ecosystem while fulfilling its social responsibilities by supporting promising startups. This investment marks a significant milestone for Hankook Tire as it is the company's first-ever lead investment in a startup.

Expanding Services and Strategic Partnership

With this investment, CARMERCE plans to recruit elite development personnel and upgrade its services to provide more competitive services to customers. The company also aims to collaborate with various financial companies to accelerate the development of used car loans and strengthen promotional marketing activities.

Additionally, CARMERCE and Hankook Tire plan to build an ongoing strategic partnership to create business synergies across various areas, such as platform technology development, service planning, and promotions, based on their shared focus on "mobility."

Hankook & Company's Commitment to Promoting the Korean Venture Ecosystem

Hankook & Company is committed to establishing an ECO-system that promotes the revitalization of the Korean venture ecosystem. To achieve this goal, the company is leveraging the know-how and infrastructure of its core affiliate company, Hankook Tire, to support mobility startups. The Mobility ECO-system is poised to serve as a key pillar for nurturing the group's growth engine and building a foundation for future coexistence. Going forward, the group will pursue optimal strategies to strengthen its next-generation new growth portfolio at the group level.

In addition, Hankook & Company is actively involved in fostering mutual growth between larger corporations and startups. As part of this effort, the group will participate in the upcoming "Rocketship IR Competition" this year, in collaboration with the accelerator CNT Tech, as part of the "Early Startup Package" investment attraction program.

Hankook Tire's investment in CARMERCE is a testament to the growth potential and innovation of the startup, which has revolutionized the used car market in Korea. With this investment, CARMERCE plans to upgrade its services and provide more competitive services to customers, while Hankook Tire aims to create business synergies across various areas through a strategic partnership. The investment also demonstrates Hankook & Company's commitment to supporting promising startups and promoting the Korean venture ecosystem.

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