Southeast Asian classified business Carousell Group has secured an investment of US$100 million, bringing its valuation to US$1.1 billion. The funding, led by Korean private equity STIC Investments, will accelerate the company's leadership in the region, and enable Carousell to achieve its goal of redefining commerce for secondhand goods and automobiles in an increasingly digitally savvy, affluent and sustainability-conscious region.
Quek Siu Rui (pictured left), co-founder and CEO of Carousell, said that the accelerated adoption of digital experiences is an opportunity for it to double down on its recommerce efforts with a focus on convenience and trust, to unlock step-change growth in its community. "The pandemic has shown us that our mission to inspire the world to start selling and buying secondhand is more relevant than ever. People in the community are using our platforms to make more possible for each other - through shared passions, making ends meet, affording what they need, or simply because it is more sustainable," he added. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Carousell for additional comment.
Carousell Group was founded in 2012 and currently serves a community of tens of millions of users across eight markets in Southeast Asia under the brands Carousell, Mudah.my, Cho Tot and OneKyat. Carousell’s pioneering mobile-first approach reignited the classifieds space, making selling and buying easier and proving to be an essential one-stop-shop across all categories. According to CNBC, other backers for Carousell include Golden Gate Ventures, Naver and Sequoia Capital India.
In June, Bloomberg reported that Carousell was mulling a US listing via a merger with a blank-check firm and the potential transaction could reportedly value Carousell as much as US$1.5 billion. Quoting its sources, Bloomberg said a listing through a special purpose acquisition company could also happen at the end of 2021.
Separately, Carousell Hong Kong hosted a booth at the Hong Kong Computer & Communications Festival 2021 earlier this year, with its own spin. With the theme “The Whole Electronics Mall is Already in Your Hands”, the brand turned the booth space into a giant billboard with the words “404 store not found” instead of showcasing products as traditional players would normally do. This was done to emphasise the fact that the products are all already in users' mobiles and thus, in their hands.
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