Carousell has reached unicorn status, with a valuation of US$1.1 billion thanks to a US$100 million investment from Korea’s STIC Investments

Carousell Group, a Singapore-based classifieds firm that operates in nine countries throughout Asia and Canada, revealed yesterday that it has secured US$100 million (RM415 million) in funding to help it expand.

The media announcement made no mention of a listing, despite media rumours from June linking it to a prospective US listing via SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company).

This round, headed by STIC Investments, a renowned South Korean private equity firm that invests across Asia, represents a watershed moment for Carousell, bringing its worth to US$1.1 billion (RM4.57 billion) The funding will fuel the group’s goals to reimagine secondhand products and car trade in an interdisciplinary manner.

“The pandemic has shown us that our mission to inspire the world to start selling and buying secondhand is more relevant than ever. People 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, cofounder 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 and are excited to partner with a significant stake in its growth story,” said Jason Cho, Managing Director of STIC Investments. 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, Cho will join the Carousell Board.

Since its founding in 2012, the Group serves a community of tens of millions of users across eight markets in Southeast Asia and Taiwan under the brands Carousell, Mudah.my (in Malaysia), Cho Tot (Vietnam) and OneKyat (Myanmar). The latter three sites used to be owned by Norwegian telco, Telenor Group before the two parties entered into a merger in late 2019.

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. All my best wishes to them.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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