Southeast Asian Classifieds Operator Carousell Bags $100M Round to Become Region's Latest Unicorn

September 15, 2021
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The Singapore based classifieds operating company Carousell has announced that it has secured $100 million in financing. The latest investment brings the company's value above $1 billion making Carousell the latest 'unicorn' company in the region.

The round was led by Korean private equity firm STIC Investments and comes a year after the firm's last round raised $80 million. As well as STIC, Carousell now counts Korean internet giant Naver, fellow classifieds operator OLX Group as well as Sequoia Capital and Rakuten among its investors.

Founded in 2012, Carousell operates generalist classifieds marketplaces across Southeast Asia. These include its flagship Carousell platform in Singapore, Mudah in Malaysia, Chotot in Vietnam and OneKyat in Myanmar - all of which have real estate sections that compete indirectly with vertical sites.

A press release did not enter into specifics about how the firm would be using its new war-chest, saying only that the company would be looking to “redefine commerce for second-hand goods and automobiles in an increasingly digitally-savvy, affluent and sustainability-conscious region”.

Speaking about the broad trends that have attracted so much investment to the region, Carousell co-founder and CEO, Quek Siu Rui added:

“The pandemic has shown us that our mission to inspire the world to start selling and buying second-hand is more relevant than ever. People in the community are using our platforms to make possible for each other—through shared passions, making ends meet, affording what they need, or simply because it is more sustainable."

"We believe that the accelerated adoption of digital experiences is an opportunity for us to double down on our re-commerce efforts with a focus on convenience and trust, to unlock step-change growth in our community,”

Back in June Bloomberg cited a source claiming that Carousell was in talks to go public via the increasingly popular SPAC route. A potential deal could push the company's valuation as high as $1.5 billion.

September 15, 2021
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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