Carousell, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing classifieds, announced recently that a consortium led by Naver has made an investment in Carousell, with the total deal amounting to US$80 million. Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund and NH Investment & Securities are the other investors in the consortium.
Carousell will be valued at over US$900 million after this investment following the merger of local online marketplace Mudah in 2019 to accelerate leadership in Malaysia. This latest round of funding signals continued confidence in Carousell’s growth and mission relevance, with the acceleration of e-commerce adoption with shoppers moving online, selling more preloved items and supporting their local communities during this global pandemic.
“The last six months have been challenging for all. It’s inspiring to see how the Carousell community is making the best out of a challenging situation, helping those in need and rallying each other on. Their stories of how Carousell has been essential to them to make ends meet and afford what they need during this global health crisis reminds us to keep heads down focused in serving our community,” said Quek Siu Rui, co-founder and CEO of Carousell.
“Naver’s investment in Carousell is a vote of confidence and reinforces the relevance of our mission. We are excited to work closely with Naver, a leader in mobile services and has industry-leading credentials in advanced technologies, as we continue our focus on using technology to make selling and buying even simpler, effective and more inspiring,” Quek Siu Rui added.
“Carousell has built a tremendous platform enabling people in the region to transact more effectively and efficiently. We believe its efforts to focus on the products and the community will be further consolidating its market leader position. We highly look forward to working closely with Carousell,” said Jung An Lee, Head of Investments at Naver.
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected individuals and businesses globally in many ways. For the past six months, Carousell has stepped up as an essential platform for users across its eight markets. This includes regional initiatives such as providing US$2 million worth of free ads to non-profit organisations, the launch of a new ‘Free Items’ category for #ChoosetoGive campaign where the community donated free items to users in need, and partnerships with government agencies such as Enterprise Singapore, Hong Kong Productivity Council and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation to support the digitalisation of micro-enterprises and SMEs.
With Naver’s partnership, Carousell is now able to hire more local talent in Malaysia to support its transformational initiatives to further personalise search and recommendations for millions of listings and users, automate marketplace quality to eliminate fraud, and refine the selling experience with more accurate price, category and product data suggestions. By solving these challenging technology problems, Carousell is able to make selling and buying more intuitive for its users and further propel its Classifieds 4.0 vision of reimagining classifieds, making selling and buying second-hand a first choice.
Credit Suisse acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Carousell for the transaction.