IAG invests big in car subscription company Carbar

Major funding round to help firm expand into EVs

IAG invests big in car subscription company Carbar

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

Carbar, Australia’s first car subscription company, has completed a $28.9 million funding round led by Insurance Australia Group (IAG) and Seven West Media.

Founded in 2016 as a virtual car dealership, Carbar is the first in Australia to market with car subscriptions and maintain its leading market share position. In June 2019, insurance giant IAG acquired most of the mobility technology provider’s stakes.

The latest funding round aims to broaden Carbar’s marketing, partnership, and technology capabilities as it expands its Australian operations and capitalises on electric vehicles (EVs). Since the last capital raise in July 2019, the company has seen more than 2,000% increase in active subscribers.

“While we are thrilled with our growth to date, we realise that our current round of car subscribers are really early adopters,” said Carbar co-founder and CEO Des Hang. “Given the experience overseas – in less car-obsessed markets – we know that with the right push, this trend of subscription can compete with and rival car ownership. We’ll be leading the charge on this for the entire car subscription industry.”

Hang expects Carbar to play an instrumental role in adopting EVs across Australia, noting only a few solutions in the country to help make these cars more accessible and affordable.

“The global rise of EVs is an inflection point for the auto industry. We want to be a global brand before this trend is fully realised, and in order to do that, we need to further accelerate our growth,” Hang said.

Commenting on the insurance giant’s partnership with Carbar, IAG group executive direct insurance Australia Julie Batch said the company’s capabilities helped the insurer adapt to its customers’ evolving mobility needs, especially during unfortunate events such as car crashes when they need to source a new or used vehicle and have it delivered.

“We’re proud to have partnered with Carbar since 2019 and supported its growth as the pioneer of Australia’s car subscription market,” Batch continued. “We’re excited by the opportunities ahead for Carbar and providing the best possible experiences for our customers today and into the future.”

Alan Stuart, head of Seven West Ventures at Seven West Media, added: “Carbar already holds a unique position in Australia’s evolving auto industry. It’s a compelling consumer offering that, with the right push, has the ability to totally change the way we perceive EVs in Australia.”

The latest funding round follows a year of Carbar’s new commercial partnerships and becoming the first car subscription service in Australia to join the Electric Vehicle Council. Moving forward, shareholders remain open to further strategic investment to allow the business to grow and achieve scale.

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