Singaporean online classifieds marketplace operator, Carousell Pte, has told Bloomberg that it might use a merger with a special purpose acquisition company to go public in the near future.
Going with a SPAC merger could bring the company’s valuation up to $1.5 billion, according to those informed on the matter. They said, though the process is currently under wraps, the move could happen as soon as the end of this year.
Carousell operates a number of online marketplaces including Carousell, Chotot.com in Vietnam, Mudah in Malaysia and OneKyat in Myanmar. The company has expanded across Asia since its launch in 2012. A public debut could help secure its hold within the region to compete with other big Asian names.
Carousell is just another Asian online classifieds company that is considering merging with a blank-check company, showing the growing rising SPAC popularity within the Asian sector.
One such is PropertyGuru Pte, one of the leading portals in Singapore, which is said to be in talks with Bridgetown 2 Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel. Other companies in the region reportedly mulling IPOs via a merger include used-car marketplace Carsome Sdn, Indonesian travel marketplace Tiket.com, and Singaporean company Grab Holdings Inc.
One possible name in the race to bring Carousell to market if the company does choose the SPAC route might be Catcha Investment Corp - the special purpose acquisition company founded back in January by classifieds industry figure and reputed local businessman Patrick Grove. Catcha Investment Corp's corporate page states that the firm will be focussing its research on the "technology, digital media, financial technology, or digital services sectors" across Southeast Asia and Australia.
Other notable recent SPAC deals in the real estate tech space include home renovation and moving portal Porch.com which merged via a $523m deal in July 2020, US iBuyer Opendoor which went public in December with market rival Offerpad slated to hit the public market later this year via a merger with ex-Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff's SPAC.