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Carousell bags investment from Naver, closing in on unicorn status

The new funding raises Carousell’s valuation to over USD 900 million.

Singaporean classifieds marketplace Carousell on Tuesday announced that it has received a USD 80 million investment from a consortium led by South Korean tech giant Naver. The company said that Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund and NH Investment & Securities also participated in this round.

The fresh funds brought Carousell’s total valuation to over USD 900 million. The startup went on an acquisition spree last year, accelerating its growth in Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, acquiring companies including OLX Philippines and 701Search, the classifieds firm owned by Telenor.

“Naver’s investment in Carousell is a vote of confidence and reinforces the relevance of our mission,” said co-founder and CEO Quek Siu Rui.

Founded in 2012 by Quek, Marcus Tan, and Lucas Ngoo, the company now claims to be one of the world’s largest and fastest growing marketplaces in eight countries across Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Aside from Naver, Carousell is backed big VC firms such as Sequoia Capital, Naspers, and Rakuten Ventures, among others.

The company has been attempting different monetization strategies in the last three years, by launching online advertisement features like “premium visibility” and moving into high-value categories such as cars and real estate.