Carousell, one of the region's fastest growing classifieds, today announced it has signed an agreement with Telenor Group, one of the world's largest telecommunications companies. As part of this equity and cash agreement, Carousell will merge with 701Search, which owns online marketplaces Mudah in Malaysia, Cho Tot in Vietnam, and OneKyat in Myanmar.
Following the merger, Carousell will be valued at more than US$850 million with Telenor Group becoming the single largest minority shareholder in Carousell, owning 32% of the combined company. Meanwhile, 701Search's regional hub team that operates in Singapore will be fully integrated into Carousell, while Mudah, Cho Tot and OneKyat will retain their individual names and platforms, continuing operations in Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar respectively. The businesses will report into Carousell CEO Quek Siu Rui.
Our mission has remained the same since day one. We want to inspire every person in the world to start selling and buying, shared Quek Siu Rui, Co-founder and CEO of Carousell. Carousell's advanced and intuitive technology, coupled with the Telenor Group companies hyperlocal reach and extensive experience, is said to further propel Carousell's Classifieds 4.0 vision of reimagining classifieds and making the selling and buying of second-hand a first choice.
Merging with 701Search will allow us to further this mission on an even greater scale and fortify our leadership in Southeast Asia as Mudah, Cho Tot and OneKyat are already leaders in their markets. I am excited to work with our new teammates to learn about the dynamics of these local markets, create win-win opportunities that are mutually beneficial for our community of users, and inspire even more people to start selling and buying," he added.
Rakesh Malani, CFO, Carousell added that this has been a significant year for Carousell, with the company achieving unprecedented results in market expansion and revenue growth. We are driving rapid consolidation in the region with the OLX Philippines merger earlier in the year, and 701Search today. This transaction further cements Carousell as the leading online classifieds marketplace platform in Southeast Asia. With annualised revenues of over US$40 million, a business of over 80% gross margin and two profitable markets, we are very well positioned to advance our combined business to the next level," Malani added.
Johan Rostoft, head of online classifieds at Telenor Group, said ?We have built a profitable and high-growth marketplace business serving millions of users every single day. This transaction presents an attractive opportunity for us to take the next step in our marketplace journey, and it also simplifies Telenor?s portfolio. We believe that Carousell is the best partner for our online classifieds business in Southeast Asia.
Approximately two months ago, Carousell also launched a brand campaign titled "Everyone Wins" to feature its purpose-led approach that connects sellers and buyers to new possibilities with each transaction. Done in collaboration with creative partner 72andSunny Singapore, this campaign came after a major refresh of its visual identity in August. The integrated campaign was first launched in Singapore and the Philippines, and later rolled out to Malaysia and Hong Kong.
To clean up its image further, Carousell also launched a dedicated platform to tackle counterfeit listings and protect rights holders. Called Carousell Rights Owners Programme, it was done in collaboration with brand partners in a bid to?provide assurance to both brands and users to deal with greater confidence in the marketplace.