Whether you want to buy a car, already own a car, or are simply surfing the World Wide Web, Vincent Tan wants to shower you with information. One of three co-founders of online portal sgCarMart — it was he who roped in his two mates — Tan plugs what he terms the “inefficiency in the Singapore automotive market” with comprehensive information so that we may all have peace of mind when shopping for our new rides.
Started in 2004 when Tan and his partners, Henry Seah and Tan Jinglun, were still at university, the portal was drawing some 60,000 visitors a month by 2006 and now averages 10,000 listings, 2.5 million visitors and 30 million page views a month. In June, the trio smiled their way to the bank when sgCarMart was sold to Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) in a deal pegged at $60 million.
Looking back, Tan says: “It was simply a case of like-minded individuals who got together and it all worked out.” While there is now a change of shareholders, Tan and his team will continue to develop their baby “the same we have always done”. The only difference is they can now tap on the multitude of platforms owned by SPH to expand their reach.