Growth Slowed in 2021 at SEA General Classifieds Operator Carousell

December 1, 2022
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The Southeast Asian general classifieds player Carousell generated $49.5 million in revenue and a $43.9 million pre-tax loss in 2021.

Although not as eye-catching as 2020's growth percentages, the Singapore-based company's results for the 12 months ended December 31st 2021 represent a 22% improvement in revenue and a 33% narrowing in losses.

The company's marketing expenses balooned 62% from 2020's figures as many markets saw pandemic-induced lockdowns ease. With an employee headcount currently around 1,000 Carousell had a lot of mouths to feed in 2021 and spent $49 million in doing so.

Carousell operates general classifieds sites in eight countries in the region including the popular Cho Tot platform in Vietnam and Mudah in Malaysia. Around 70% of the company's total 2021 revenue was generated through the classifieds listing and subscription model with a spokesperson telling local publication Tech in Asia that its Goods and Services category in particular was "a key driver".

Direct third party advertising accounted for $9.5 million in revenue in 2021 and at the beginning of 2022 Craousell launched its Connect service looking to increase the contribution. Connect helps brands target users based on their interaction with the product expected to be rolled out to Cho Tot and Mudah in early 2023.

Recently Craousell has been in the news for dropping plans to go public via a SPAC merger with a shell company launched by the private equity firm L Catterton.

As of the end of 2021, Carousell had cash and equivalents of $138 million on hand. The company explored the possibility of a rumoured $150 million merger with regional real estate marketplace player 99 Group. The vertical operator eventually chose to go its own way and raise a $37 million Series C led by Gaw Partners.

December 1, 2022
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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