Funding to accelerate international expansion & product development
Over two million items have been sold since 2012
SINGAPORE-based startup Carousell said it it has partnered with Sequoia India and secured US$6 million in Series A funding.
The company’s existing investors Rakuten Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, 500 Startups and serial entrepreneur Darius Cheung also participated in this round.
The funding will be used to accelerate international expansion to countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan, Carousell said in a statement.
The company’s top priority is to grow its engineering, product and community teams to speed up improvements to benefit its user community with features that make buying and selling on its mobile platform even simpler and safer, it added.
Carousell is a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace that aims to make online person-to-person buying and selling accessible and simple via mobile.
Sellers can snap a photo and list an item for sale in 30 seconds or less; and buyers can purchase items just by chatting with sellers via an in-built private chat messenger.
“Carousell is one of the most exciting young companies we have encountered recently. The company has grown with practically no marketing to become a leading destination for consumers to buy and sell goods across all categories," said Sequoia Capital India Advisors managing director Shailendra Singh.
“Tens of thousands of products are listed and sold on Carousell every day by consumers. We're psyched to be backing the team to help build Carousell into a leading C2C mobile shopping app," he added.
Sequoia Capital’s investment had been made from the recent Sequoia Capital India IV fund. The US$530 million fund was raised in April 2014.
“We’re on a mission to make online buying and selling accessible to everyone. If you know how to snap a photo or send a text message using a smartphone, you essentially know how to buy and sell on Carousell,” said cofounder Quek Siu Rui.
He said that going mobile-first is necessary as there are now two billion people accessing the Internet via smartphones, many of whom are increasingly using these devices as the primary means of connecting to the Internet.
“It’s a big and important mission, and we’re thrilled to welcome Sequoia to the family to learn from their extensive experience having backed global companies like Apple, Google and WhatsApp,” he added.
Launched in 2012, Carousell claims to have organically maintained its rank as the No 1 Lifestyle app on the App Store for 11 months straight, and the No 1 Shopping app since June 2014 in Singapore.
According to the company, its community has created over eight million listings of new and 'pre-loved' items for sale in categories ranging from fashion and beauty to furniture and baby products.
It said that to date, over two million items have been sold on Carousell, with an average of eight transactions happening every minute.
The average user spends approximately 21 minutes per day browsing the marketplace app, an engagement level similar to that of the average Instagram user, it claimed.
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