Singapore’s e-commerce marketplace Carousell may soon add another big-name investor to its capitalization table. South Africa-based Naspers, famous for its visionary investment in the then-loss-making Tencent in 2001, is in early-stage talks to invest in Carousell with an aim to make the startup a key player in the region, TechCrunch reports on Tuesday.
The investment will possibly value the startup at over USD500 million, as per the TechCrunch report.
About a month ago, Carousell announced a USD85- million Series C round led by Rakuten Ventures, the VC arm of Japanese e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten, and EDBI, the investment arm of Singapore Economic Development Board. The startup also counts 500 Startups, Sequoia Capital India, Golden Gate Ventures, and DBS bank as backers.
Founded in 2012, Carousell lists both new and used items on its platform to facilitate P2P trades. It has facilitated sales of over 50 million items between users and currently has over 144 million listings, the company’s CEO and co-founder Siu Rui Quek told TechCrunch in May.
Carousell was on a shopping spree for six months since August 2017, acquiring 3 startups, Malaysia-based rival Duriana, used car marketplace Caarly, and personal safety app Watch Over Me. By acquiring Duriana, Carousell claimed to have bolstered its listings in both Malaysia and the Philippines.
The marketplace now operates in seven markets including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia. It is relying on advertising, partnerships that include financial services, and promoted listing for sellers for revenue.
The potential investment will put Carousell on par with Naspers’ investees which are also classifieds platforms including US’s OLX and Letgo, Russia’s Avito.ru, and UAE’s Dubizzle.
SE Asian E-commerce market
It’s no secret that the e-commerce market in Southeast Asia is taking off. Credit Suisse forecasts a 32% CAGR increase in e-commerce spending which will rise to almost USD 90 billion by 2025.
Major e-commerce players include Alibaba’s Lazada and Aliexpress, NYSE-listed Sea’s Shopee, and Indonesia’s unicorn Tokopedia.
Editor: Jason Zheng