20 January 2019
Carousell, a Singapore-based e-commerce marketplace, is said to have raised fresh funds for business expansion. Photo: Carousell
Carousell, a Singapore-based e-commerce marketplace, is said to have raised fresh funds for business expansion. Photo: Carousell

Singapore’s Carousell closes US$70-80 mln funding round: report

Carousell, an e-commerce marketplace focused on Southeast Asia, has closed a Series C funding round worth US$70 million to US$80 million, according to tech industry news portal TechCrunch.

The Singapore-based startup did not confirm the new funding round, but released a statement to TechCrunch in which it said: “At Carousell, we are laser-focused on our mission of building a system to inspire everyone in the world to start selling. Since our US$35m Series B funding in August 2016, we’ve expanded rapidly from 35 million listings to now over 95 million listings globally..”

“We are always looking to get in touch with new investors and partners to help us reach our goals,” added the company, which operates a mobile-first listings service for second-hand goods and services in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Previously Carousell had raised US$41 million, including the US$35 million Series B round in August last year, from investors including Rakuten, Sequoia Capital, Golden Gate Ventures and 500 Startups.

As one of a number of startups to have emerged inside Southeast Asia’s fast-growing e-commerce space, Carousell has carved out a niche for itself as a second-hand goods market.

Its annual gross merchandise volume (GMV) – which indicates the total value of goods sold across a platform – is at US$5 billion, according to TechCrunch, which cited a source.

In comparison, Carousell’s rival in the region, Shopee, did US$1.15 billion in 2016. Based on the figures for the first half of 2017, that company is on track for US$3 billion, the report said.

According to TechCrunch, the number of listings on Carousell platform has more than doubled from 45 million last year to 95 million today. The startup is said to be on track to reach double-digit million US dollar revenue this year.

Carousell initially started in consumer-to-consumer sales, as its mobile app made selling unwanted items easy, but it has repositioned itself as a listings site now.

Recently, the startup quietly unveiled the Carousell Pro – a “new platform for professional sellers” to help them “create, manage, and analyze” their marketing efforts.

The platform is initially offering tailored Carousell Pro packages for employers and recruiters, and real estate agents, a company spokesperson told Tech in Asia.

Sellers will be offered a range of deep-dive analytics of listings’ performance, management tools, and additional features, including an “Enhanced Chat” feature connecting them directly with potential buyers for live online chats.

In an interview with CNBC last November, Carousell’s co-founder and CEO Quek Siu Rui said the company was seeking ways to monetize its marketplace through offering premium listings and services for a fee.

Southeast Asia has been seen as a region that could grow to become important alongside China and India in e-commerce space, attracting a range of companies to invest in the region heavily.

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The three co-founders of Carousell, Quek Siu Rui (L), Lucas Ngoo (middle) and Marcus Tan (R). Photo: Carousell

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