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Carousell inches closer to unicorn status with a US$80M investment round led by Naver


Carousell, a B2C and C2C consumer marketplace for buying and selling new and used goods in Singapore, has inched closer to becoming a unicorn with a fresh US$80 million fundraise from a consortium of companies, led by South Korean tech honcho Naver Corp.

Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund and NH Investment & Securities are the other investors in the consortium.

The deal values Carousell at over US$900 million.

“The last six months have been challenging for all. It’s inspiring to see how the Carousell community is making the best out of a challenging situation, helping those in need and rallying each other on. Their stories of how Carousell has been essential to them to make ends meet and afford what they need during this global health crisis reminds us to keep heads down focused in serving our community,” said Quek Siu Rui, Co-founder and CEO of Carousell.

Launched in August 2012, Carousell began in Singapore and now has a presence in eight markets across Asia. The firm claims it has over 250 million listings across Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The marketplace has a diverse range of products across a variety of categories, including cars, lifestyle, gadgets and fashion accessories.

The company also owns and operates Cho Tot (Vietnam), Mudah (Malaysia), OneKyat (Myanmar), and Revo Financial (Singapore).

Since inception, the firm has raised over US$260 million across several rounds of funding, including a US$56 million from OLX Group in April 2019. Carosell’s other investors include Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Sequoia India and Naspers.

Last year, Carousell made a series of acquisitions in 2019 to accelerate leadership in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, including 701Search, the classifieds firm owned by Norwegian telco Telenor Group and OLX Philippines.

“Carousell has built a tremendous platform enabling people in the region to transact more effectively and efficiently. We believe its efforts to focus on the products and the community will be further consolidating its market leader position. We highly look forward to working closely with Carousell,” said Jung An Lee, Head of Investments at Naver.

After the onset of COVID-19 six months ago, which affected individuals and businesses globally, Carousell launched several regional initiatives. They include providing US$2 million worth of free ads to non-profit organisations, the launch of a new ‘free items’ category for #ChoosetoGive campaign where the community donated free items to users in need, and partnerships with government agencies such as Enterprise Singapore, Hong Kong Productivity Council and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation to support the digitalisation of micro-enterprises and SMEs.

This article was first published on e27, on Sep. 16, 2020.