Carousell has secured an additional US$35 million in funding. Led by Rakuten Ventures, together with Sequoia India, Golden Gate Ventures and 500 Startups, this is one of the largest reported Series B rounds raised in the mobile classifieds space.
The additional capital will accelerate Carousell’s growth into new markets around the world and bolster its product and engineering teams. The mobile app currently serves 13 major cities, and recently completed its official launch in Hong Kong.
According to the company, as of June 2016, markets like Hong Kong have seen over 50% growth in transactions month on month since January 2016. Listings on the Carousell marketplace have also been growing with demand, with more than 35 million listings on Carousell as of June 2016, and more than 70 listings made per minute.
Most recently, Carousell hired Chai Jia Jih as vice president, international to lead international growth to accelerate Carousell’s expansion worldwide, as well as support financial strategy and planning. He will be based in Carousell’s HQ in Singapore and will work closely with the co-founders as part of the leadership team. Chai was most last managing director, Southeast Asia, and the head of APAC host operations at Airbnb.
“Carousell is shaping the way people come together to buy and sell, and make each other’s lives more meaningful. We are reimagining the traditional classifieds industry by letting anyone with a smartphone snap, list, sell in 30 seconds,” said Siu Rui Quek, co-founder and CEO of Carousell.
“We will remain focused on nurturing a vibrant Carousell community, and use the latest technology to offer them an intuitive user experience. Some of the areas we’ve been improving include discoverability so that it’s easier for users to find just what they need, community features like Carousell Groups to bring our users closer together, and under the hood improvements for a more enjoyable experience.”
Over the years, the company has added on more segments to its app evolving from being fashion focused to include cars, motorbikes, and luxury goods. The company also introduced Carousell Groups early this year has helped to deepen in-app engagement. On average, a Carousell user spends more than 17 minutes per day on the app. When compared against the global average of 17 minutes per day with apps like Instagram, these high levels of engagement validate Carousell’s unique approach towards growing an engaged community. This growth mirrors the continued rise in mobile penetration, especially in the Asia Pacific region which is home to 52% of all smartphone users.
Saemin Ahn, managing partner of Rakuten Ventures, shares: “When RV (Rakuten Ventures) first invested in Carousell, it was a scrappy and hungry group of founders determined to change the way people transact with one another in the 21st century. We now see their vision and this want for interaction shared by vast groups of people not only in Singapore but also in countries like Indonesia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. We are grateful and humbled to have been on such an exciting journey with the team, and look forward to 2016 and beyond.”
In 2014, Carousell, through a partnership with Sequoia India, secured US$6 million in Series A funding. Last year it also ventured into the Malaysia market.