Singaporean startup darling Carousell announced today that it has sealed an equity and cash agreement with Norwegian telecom company Telenor Group. Accordingly, Carousell will merge with 701Search, which owns online marketplaces Mudah in Malaysia, Cho Tot in Vietnam, and OneKyat in Myanmar.
Following the merger, Carousell will be valued at more than USD 850 million with Telenor Group becoming the single largest minority shareholder in Carousell, owning 32% of the combined company, according to a press statement.
Rakesh Malani, chief financial officer at Carousell, said the company is driving “rapid consolidation” in the region, with the OLX Philippines merger back in July and now with 701Search.
Malani said annualized revenues have reached more than USD 40 million. The startup, which is marching towards unicorn status, however reportedly recorded a loss of nearly USD 25 million in 2018.
Following the merger, 701Search’s regional hub team that operates in Singapore will be fully integrated into Carousell, while Mudah, Cho Tot, and OneKyat will retain their individual names and platforms. They will continue operations in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Myanmar as per business as usual. The businesses will report to Carousell CEO Quek Siu Rui.
Quek said merging with 701Search will fortify Carousell’s leading position in Southeast Asia, considering that Mudah, Cho Tot, and OneKyat are already well-known players in their respective markets.
Launched in August 2012, Carousell began in Singapore and now has a presence in eight markets across Asia. With over 250 million listings, Quek has consistently spoken about his ambition to spread Carousell’s Classifieds 4.0 vision (snap and sell in 30 seconds) and to eventually reach 1 billion users.