Tech

Southeast Asia’s online marketplace Carousell is now valued at $1.1 billion

The Carousell application is displayed on a smartphone in an arranged photograph in Singapore.
Ore Huiying | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Southeast Asia’s online classifieds business Carousell on Wednesday said it raised $100 million in fresh funds that value the company at more than a billion dollars.

South Korean private equity firm STIC Investments led the investment round.

The Singapore-based Carousell said it is now valued at $1.1 billion — which makes it Southeast Asia’s latest unicorn, a start-up worth more than a billion dollars.

“We believe that the accelerated adoption of digital experiences is an opportunity for us to double down on our recommerce efforts with a focus on convenience and trust, to unlock step-change growth in our community,” said Quek Siu Rui, co-founder and CEO of Carousell, in a statement. Recommerce refers to buying and re-selling previously owned products.

He said the start-up will invest to expand across more categories of pre-owned goods as well as markets, and do strategic acquisitions to scale up the business.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg News reported in June that Carousell was considering a potential U.S. public listing via a merger with a blank-check company.

Like other online classified platforms, the idea behind Carousell is straightforward: Users snap pictures of things they want to sell and list them, with relevant details, on the marketplace for buyers. 

As the coronavirus pandemic forced more people to stay at home, experts have said that consumption patterns are permanently shifting.

People are turning more to e-commerce for their shopping needs and that puts companies like Carousell and others in a prime position to tap into Southeast Asia’s $300 billion internet economy.

Carousell’s other backers include Sequoia Capital India, Golden Gate Ventures as well as South Korean tech company Naver, the creator of messaging app Line.

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