Carousell, the Singapore-based mobile listings startup, announced on Monday that it has raised US$85 million in Series C funding to support the firm’s business expansion initiatives.
The financing was led by Japan’s Rakuten Ventures and EDBI, an investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, it said, adding that DBS bank came on board as a new investor.
The latest funding comes as Carousell seeks to improve its fast-growing classifieds app and innovate in spaces like artificial intelligence, while strengthening its business in the region’s competitive e-commerce landscape.
The capital injection will accelerate Carousell’s product innovation to reimagine classifieds in an AI-first world, according to its announcement.
Co-founder and CEO Siu Rui Quek told TechCrunch: “Six years ago it was mobile, now we’re going into an AI-first world [with other challenges such as] how do we make payments a lot more frictionless.”
Established as one of Southeast Asia’s leading classifieds marketplace, Carousell focuses on a consumer-to-consumer business, allowing users to sell unwanted items to each other, including cars, property, jobs, services and even finance.
In the last two years, the marketplace has quadrupled in volume globally, featuring more than 144 million listings and 50 million items sold, it claims.
According to the company, it began to realize its AI vision in 2017, with the launch of predictive features like ‘Smart Listings’, which is the integration of predictive and automated capabilities in the buying and selling process; as well as personalized browsing and chatting experiences.
In conjunction with the investment, DBS and Carousell will be collaborating to offer financial products and payment services on Carousell’s platforms.
DBS Group CEO Piyush Gupta said that as a strategic partner, DBS “can leverage on Carousell’s platforms to connect to its community both inside and outside of Singapore.”
After launching in 2012, Carousell now serves 19 major cities in seven markets across Asia, including Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. According to CrunchBase data, the six-year-old startup has now raised over US$126 million since its founding.
The full article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 15
Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting
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