Carousell secures US$85mil series C funding
By Digital News Asia May 14, 2018
- To offer financial products and payment services on its platform
- Investment to improve customer journey while using data to inform offerings
Carousell, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing classifieds marketplaces, today announces that it has raised US$85 million in Series C funding, co-led by Rakuten Ventures and EDBI, with participation from existing investors, 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures and Sequoia India, as well as new investor, DBS.
One of the pioneers of mobile classifieds in 2012, Carousell is constantly innovating to create a better, faster experience for people to buy and sell conveniently and securely. The capital injection will accelerate Carousell’s product innovation to reimagine classifieds in an AI-first world. A key component will be investment into talent and deep technology capabilities to elevate the Carousell marketplace.
“In the past 6 years, we’ve gathered a lot more data, feedback and learnings about the problems and friction people face when buying and selling online. We are laser focused on solving these problems with technology and catering to local cultural norms and behaviours in Southeast Asia, while ultimately serving our core mission of inspiring everyone in the world to start selling,” said Carousell co-founder and chief executive officer Siu Rui Quek.
“The investment will enable us to continue building up our teams with top tier talent to accelerate our development of highly anticipated features, and more AI and machine learning capabilities. We are grateful for the support of our new and existing investors, and their strong validation of our team’s execution capabilities, passion for the mission and product vision.”
In the two years following its last round of funding, Carousell has celebrated a series of accomplishments across its seven markets. The marketplace has quadrupled in volume globally, featuring more than 144 million listings and 50 million items sold. Established as one of Southeast Asia’s leading classifieds marketplaces, Carousell began to realise its AI vision in 2017, with the launch of predictive features like Smart Listings, personalised browsing and chatting experiences.
The past year also saw Carousell expand its marketplace offerings in Singapore with high value categories such as cars, property, jobs, services and finance. The latest round of funding will also be used to deepen the company’s presence in key markets and pave the way for the launch of more categories across the region.
“Carousell is a homegrown company well loved by many, and has redefined buying and selling on the mobile. It continues to place strong emphasis on innovation, leveraging on AI to improve user experience. We are pleased to support and help Carousell expand across the region, riding on the exciting growth of the Southeast Asian consumer markets,” said EDBI chief executive officer and president Swee Yeok Chu.
In conjunction with the investment, DBS and Carousell will be collaborating to offer financial products and payment services on Carousell’s platforms. DBS Group chief executive officer Piyush Gupta said, “DBS has been leveraging digital technology and innovation to seamlessly integrate banking into the lives of customers. We’re stepping up our participation in ecosystems, improving the customer journey and using data to inform our offerings. The investment in Carousell further builds on that. As a strategic partner to Carousell, we can leverage on Carousell’s platforms to connect to its community both inside and outside of Singapore, and strengthen our next-generation proposition jointly with Carousell.”
Carousell CEO Siu Rui Quek will be speaking at Tech In Asia in Singapore on Tuesday, 15 May at 3:30pm. During his keynote on the main stage, he will provide further insight into the next phase of Carousell’s growth, ‘Classifieds 4.0’.