Carousell raises $80m from Naver-led consortium at $900m valuation

Carousell's Singapore HQ

A consortium led by Naver Corp. has invested $80 million in Carousell, in a deal valuing the online classified-ad player at over $900 million.

Other investors in the consortium were Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund and NH Investment & Securities, Carousell said in a press release on Tuesday. Credit Suisse acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Carousell for the deal, the statement added.

“We believe its [Carousell’s] efforts to focus on the products and the community will further consolidate its market leader position,” said Jung An Lee, head of investments at Naver.

Carousell, launched in 2012, operates online marketplaces in eight markets across Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The company’s other backers include Rakuten Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Naspers.

The latest fundraising follows two major deals. In November last year, Carousell merged with 701Search, the online classified assets of global telecommunications giant Telenor Group, in an equity-and-cash deal. The deal valued the combined entity at more than $850 million; Carousell was valued at $560 million before the merger. Telenor also became Carousell’s largest shareholder with a 32% stake. 701Search owned Mudah in Malaysia, Cho Tot in Vietnam, and OneKyat in Myanmar, opening up these new markets to Carousell.

In April 2019, Carousell acquired the Philippine operations of OLX from Naspers, which invested $56 million in the Singaporean startup.

Carousell generates revenue from three key streams: online advertising, where it partners with brands and merchants to sell; premium visibility like Bumps and Spotlight, where it charges sellers to increase customer reach; and Carousell Pro, a subscription service where it partners car dealers and real estate agents to list their ads.

Car and real estate listings are understood to be key growth areas for Carousell, which tend to generate higher fees while drawing high traffic volumes on the platform. In November, Carousell said it recorded over half a million monthly listing views for its property arm.

Naver Corp. is a global tech company, with properties including South Korea’s largest search portal Naver, messenger app Line, global digital comics platform Naver Webtoon and social media platform Naver Band.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.