Carousell secures US$85m in funding, DBS jumps on board as new investor

Classified marketplace Carousell has raised US$85 million in Series C funding. This effort was co-led by Rakuten Ventures and EDBI, with participation from existing investors, 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures and Sequoia India, as well as new investor, DBS.

The capital injection will accelerate Carousell’s product innovation to reimagine classifieds in an AI-first world. A key component will be investment into talent and deep technology capabilities to elevate the Carousell marketplace.

Carousell has worked across its seven markets in the two years following its last round of funding. The marketplace has quadrupled in volume globally, featuring more than 144 million listings and 50 million items sold. Established as one of Southeast Asia’s leading classifieds marketplaces, Carousell began to realise its vision in 2017, with the launch of predictive features like Smart Listings, personalised browsing and chatting experiences.

In the past year, Carousell has expand its marketplace offerings in Singapore with high value categories such as cars, property, jobs, services and finance. The latest round of funding will also be used to deepen the company’s presence in key markets and pave the way for the launch of more categories across the region.

In conjunction with the investment, new investor DBS and Carousell will be collaborating to offer financial products and payment services on Carousell’s platforms. DBS Group CEO Piyush Gupta said DBS has been leveraging digital technology and innovation to seamlessly integrate banking into the lives of customers.

"We’re stepping up our participation in ecosystems, improving the customer journey and using data to inform our offerings. The investment in Carousell further builds on that. As a strategic partner to Carousell, we can leverage on Carousell’s platforms to connect to its community both inside and outside of Singapore, and strengthen our next-generation proposition jointly with Carousell,” he said.

Siu Rui Quek (pictured right), Carousell co-founder and CEO, said, "In the past six years, we’ve gathered a lot more data, feedback and learnings about the problems and friction people face when buying and selling online. We are laser focused on solving these problems with technology and catering to local cultural norms and behaviours in Southeast Asia, while ultimately serving our core mission of inspiring everyone in the world to start selling."

Quek added that the investment will enable the company to continue building up its teams with top tier talent to accelerate "development of highly anticipated features, and more AI and machine learning capabilities."

"We are grateful for the support of our new and existing investors, and their strong validation of our team’s execution capabilities, passion for the mission and product vision," he added.