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After a new US $100 M round, Singapore’s Carousell enters unicorn club

Carosell Group, Singapore’s biggest classifieds firm, joined the unicorn club just hours after Indonesian fintech startup Xendit announced its entrance into the billion-dollar club.

Carousell’s valuation has risen to US$1.1 billion thanks to the round, which was headed by Korean private equity company STIC Investments.

In a news release, Carousell stated that the funds will be used to “redefine commerce for used products and vehicles in an increasingly digitally-savvy, wealthy, and sustainability-conscious region.”

Carousell’s co-founder and CEO, Quek Siu Rui, stated, “Carousell will continue to pursue opportunistic acquisitions in scaling up and will expand its investments in re-commerce across additional categories and geographies.”

“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.

Carousell launched in Singapore in August 2012 and now operates in eight Asian cities. The company has over 250 million listings across Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong as of September last year.

The marketplace offers a wide variety of items in a variety of categories, including automobiles, lifestyle, electronics, and fashion accessories. Cho Tot (Vietnam), Mudah (Malaysia), OneKyat (Myanmar), and Revo Financial are among the companies it owns and runs (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 high-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.”

Carousell partnered with PosLaju (Malaysia’s national postal service) earlier this year to offer contactless transaction alternatives for sellers and buyers under the Movement Control Order.

Carousell has already raised approximately US$260 million in multiple stages. A coalition of firms contributed US$80 million in September 2020, while OLX contributed US$56 million in April 2019. Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Sequoia India, and Naspers are among Carousell’s other investors.

In 2019, it acquired 701Search, a classifieds business owned by Norwegian telecom Telenor Group, and OLX Philippines to strengthen its position in Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Bloomberg reported in June, citing unnamed sources, that Carousell was considering a public listing in the United States through a combination with a special purpose acquisition firm (SPAC). The listing might happen before the end of the year.

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