Just hours after Indonesian fintech startup Xendit announced its entry into the billion-dollar club, Singapore’s leading classifieds company Carosell Group entered the unicorn club by bagging a US$100M financing.
The round, led by Korean PE firm STIC Investments, takes Carousell’s valuation to US$1.1 billion.
Carousell said in a press note that it would use the money to “redefine commerce for second-hand goods and automobiles in an increasingly digitally-savvy, affluent and sustainability-conscious region”.
Quek Siu Rui, co-founder and CEO, said Carousell will deepen its investments in re-commerce across more categories and markets and will continue to seek opportunistic acquisitions in scaling up.”
“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,” he added.
Launched in August 2012, Carousell began in Singapore and is present in eight markets across Asia. As of last September, the firm had over 250 million listings across Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The marketplace has a diverse range of products across various categories, including cars, lifestyle, gadgets and fashion accessories. It also owns and operates Cho Tot (Vietnam), Mudah (Malaysia), OneKyat (Myanmar), and Revo Financial (Singapore).
“We have grown way beyond categories like fashion, electronics and general goods,” said Siu Rui, “As the region becomes more affluent, people want to enjoy the finer things in life. We are looking at authentication capabilities for higher-value products, including luxury goods and cars. Our goal is to make transacting in a second-hand marketplace as convenient and trusted as any e-commerce platform so that second-hand can truly be the first choice. ”
Early this year, Carousell launched integrated shipping with PosLaju (the Malaysia national postal service) to provide contactless transaction options for sellers and buyers during the Movement Control Order.
Before this round, Carousell has raised over US$260 million via several rounds. They included a US$80 million from a consortium of companies in September 2020 and US$56 million from OLX in April 2019. Carousell’s other investors include Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Sequoia India and Naspers.
In 2019, it made a series of acquisitions to accelerate leadership in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, including 701Search, the classifieds firm owned by Norwegian telco Telenor Group, and OLX Philippines.
In June, a Bloomberg report said citing undisclosed sources that Carousell was mulling public listing in the US via the merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The listing could occur as soon as the end of this year.
Image Credit: Carousell
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