Carousell Group, a Singapore-based classifieds group, has become Southeast Asia’s latest unicorn after it raised $100 million with a $1.1 billion valuation, according to a company announcement.
STIC Investments, a Korean private equity firm that invests across Asia, led the funding round that minted Carousell, founded in 2012, as a unicorn. Carousell is also backed by leading investors including Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Naver, STIC Investments, and Sequoia Capital India.
The company said it will use the fresh funding to reimagine classifieds experience with a focus on convenience and trust to make secondhand the first choice.
“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.
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.
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.
“We have grown way beyond categories like fashion, electronics, and general goods,” said Siu Rui. “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.”