Carousell Group Raises US$100 Million from STIC Investments to Accelerate Classifieds 4.0 in Greater Southeast Asia
Valued at US$1.1 billion, the regional leader of classifieds will continue to cement its frontrunner position across Goods, Autos and Property verticals, and accelerate its transactional push into recommerce
SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 16 September 2021 - Carousell Group, the leading classifieds group in Greater Southeast Asia, today announced that it has secured an investment of US$100 million to accelerate its leadership in the region, and to reimagine the classifieds experience with a focus on convenience and trust, to make secondhand the first choice.
This round of funding, led by STIC Investments, a leading Korean private equity that invests across Asia, marks a significant milestone that will bring Carousell's valuation to US$1.1 billion. The investment will power the group's ambitions to redefine commerce for secondhand goods and automobiles in an increasingly digitally savvy, affluent and sustainability-conscious region.
"The pandemic has shown us that our mission to inspire the world to start selling and buying secondhand is more relevant than ever. People in the community are using our platforms to make more possible for each other—through shared passions, making ends meet, affording what they need, or simply because it is more sustainable. 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. "STIC's investment is a validation of our mission and strategic direction. We'll deepen our investments in recommerce across more categories and markets, and will continue to seek opportunistic acquisitions in scaling up."
"We have been monitoring Carousell as one of the leading platforms in Greater Southeast Asia, and are excited to partner up with a significant stake in its growth story," said Jason Cho, Managing Director of STIC Investments. "Carousell continues to achieve tremendous user growth as they transform the recommerce market, adding new features that are focused on creating trusted marketplaces and enhancing overall user experience. We are highly confident that Carousell will be at the center of the secondhand economy in this region at a time when an increasing number of socio-economic and environmentally conscious consumers are shifting towards a circular economy". As part of the funding round, Mr. Cho will join the Carousell Board of Directors.
Since its founding in 2012, the Group serves a community of tens of millions of users across eight markets in Greater Southeast Asia under the brands Carousell, Mudah.my, Cho Tot and OneKyat. Carousell's pioneering mobile-first approach reignited the classifieds space, making selling and buying easier and proving to be an essential one-stop shop across all categories.
"We have grown way beyond categories like fashion, electronics and general goods," said Siu Rui, "As the region becomes more affluent, people want to enjoy the finer things in life. We are looking at authentication capabilities for higher-value products, including luxury goods and cars. Our goal is to make transacting in a secondhand marketplace as convenient and trusted as any e-commerce platform so that secondhand can truly be the first choice."
This year alone, Carousell has piloted a Certified Mobiles programme in Singapore, offering a 12-month warranty for used mobile phones to offer users a like-new experience at secondhand prices, and launched integrated shipping with PosLaju (the Malaysia national postal service) to provide contactless transaction options for sellers and buyers during the Movement Control Order. Carousell Auto Group, which was formed earlier this year to leverage its regional leadership position in car classifieds, has in a short period rolled out a Certified Autos programme in Malaysia that achieved the largest inventory of certified cars in the country, with other key markets to follow.
With the investment from STIC, Carousell will continue to accelerate the growth of Cho Tot in the Vietnam market which focusing on Autos (Chợ Tốt Xe) and Goods as well as invest heavily in Real Estate (Cho Tot Nha) and blue collar jobs. To quickly implement this strategy, Cho Tot is looking for more talents in technology, business, and data science to join the team.
About Carousell Group
Carousell Group is the leading classifieds group in Greater Southeast Asia on a mission to inspire the world to start selling, and to make secondhand the first choice. Founded in August 2012 in Singapore, the group has a leading presence in eight markets under the brands Carousell, Mudah.my, Cho Tot and OneKyat, serving tens of millions of monthly active users. Carousell is backed by leading investors including Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Naver, STIC Investments and Sequoia Capital India. Visit here for more information.
About Cho Tot
Launched in Vietnam in 2012, Cho Tot (www.chotot.com) is part of Carousell. With more than 50 million visits/month,Cho Tot is the leading online classifieds site in Vietnam with a wide range of products: Property, Vehicle, Electronics, Blue Collar Jobs, Pets, Home Appliances, etc. Visit www.chotot.com for more information.
About STIC Investments
STIC Investments, Inc. is one of the largest and most experienced private equity firms in Korea. STIC seeks to create growth and prosperity in economies across Asia through investing in companies that engage in promising businesses. Starting its operations as a venture capital firm in 1999, STIC is now renowned as a leading private equity firm in Korea with a proven 22-year track record and abundant investment experience in multiple business cycles. STIC has circa US$5 billion AUM, 40 investment professionals and invested in more than 80 companies. Its global investor base includes sovereign wealth funds, public pension funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, family offices, endowments, foundations, and fund of funds from Korea, Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Europe. Visit here for more information.