Singapore’s Carousell raises $85m in Series C led by Rakuten, EDBI

Carousell co-founders Marcus Tan, Lucas Ngoo and Quek Siu Rui

Singapore-based e-commerce company Carousell has announced the closing of an $85-million Series C funding round led by Rakuten Ventures and EDBI.

Other participating investors in the round, the startup revealed in a statement, are existing backers 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures and Sequoia India, as well as new investor, Asian financial services group DBS.

Carousell said that the proceeds will be used to accelerate product innovation, with investments to be made into talent acquisition and deep technology.

“The investment will enable us to continue building up our teams with top-tier talent to accelerate our development of highly anticipated features, and more AI and machine learning capabilities. We are grateful for the support of our new and existing investors, and their strong validation of our team’s execution capabilities, passion for the mission and product vision,” said Carousell co-founder and CEO Siu Rui Quek.

Carousell’s app blends new and used items into a form of streamlined classified listings optimized for display on a mobile app, functioning as a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace where individuals can list and trade their items.

The company was launched in August 2012 in Singapore and now has a presence in seven markets across Asia, including in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. It claims to have 144 million listings on its marketplace across a variety of categories, including cars, lifestyle, gadgets and fashion accessories.

For its Series B funding, Carousell raised $35 million in 2016, which was one of the largest reported Series B amounts raised by a startup in the city-state at the time.

The new round of funding brings the company’s total funding to about $126.8 million. It had raised $6 million and $600,000 for its Series A and seed funding respectively.

The funding will be seen as a much-needed ammunition, given a large amount of money has been injected of late into some of Carousell’s regional competitors. Most notably Lazada snagged another $2 billion from Alibaba this year, bringing the Chinese giant’s investment in the Southeast Asian company to $4 billion.

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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.

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.