Carousell to Layoff 110 Employees—10% Of Total Workforce

December 5, 2022
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Quek Siu Rui, CEO of Carousell, has blamed himself for being "too optimistic" in a company-wide email that confirmed up to 110 employees would lose their jobs as part of a company-wide restructuring to achieve profitability.

The Singapore-based horizontal, which operates a real estate marketplace, said the restructuring will only affect specific business units.

Carousell posted revenues of $49.5m for 2021—a much lower YOY growth (21.8%) than the circa 300% growth from 2019-2020. The company has also distanced itself from an IPO due to market volatility.

An abridged version of Quek Siu Rui's notice to Carousell employees is below:

"Hello teammates of Carousell Group,

I’m writing today to share very difficult news with you. 

Together with my co-founders and group leadership, we decided to reduce the size of our team by about 110 roles, representing 10% of our group’s total headcount. Only teammates from some business units are affected. 

In the next few minutes, emails will be sent to everyone in affected business units, clarifying if your role was impacted. For those impacted, the email will be a calendar invite to a meeting today with a leader in your team and a HR business partner. 

I am deeply sorry for this outcome, and I take responsibility for the decisions that have led us here. Parting with teammates, whom we are grateful to for joining us on this mission, is a very difficult decision. We will be sure to treat everyone impacted with compassion and to lend as much support as we can to them.

As we emerged from the Covid lockdowns of 2021 across key markets of our group, we were optimistic about the recovery to come and eager to reignite growth in our core classifieds business.

Looking back, I’d made the following critical mistakes: First, I was too optimistic about the pace of our impact versus our increase in investments. The reality is that we were quick to grow our expenses and hire, but the returns took longer than expected. Second, while it is easy to blame market conditions, I also underestimated the impact of growing our team size too quickly–larger teams lead to lack of clarity in decision making and the additional coordination required to get things done.

To our teammates who are leaving, I am deeply sorry. This decision today is by no means a reflection of your contributions, dedication and hard work during your time with us. Please know how truly grateful we are that you chose to join us on this mission. You have our most heartfelt gratitude for being part of our journey."


December 5, 2022
Harvey is an experienced property journalist and copywriter. He has written about the property industry since 2015, starting at The Property Franchise Group in the UK, before moving to Spain to work for Spotahome. He has blogged for the private rented sector, ghostwritten for UK property experts and written case studies for franchise owners around the UK. Harvey joined Online Marketplaces as a News Editor in 2022.

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