Singapore’s Carousell in fundraising talks with Naspers: Report

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

Singapore-based e-commerce company Carousell is engaged in fundraising talks with global internet and entertainment firm Naspers, according to a report by TechCrunch.

The report, which cites two sources with knowledge of the discussions, says the deal would be a minority investment that values the Carousell business at over $500 million.

Less than a month back, Carousell closed an $85-million Series C funding round led by Rakuten Ventures and EDBI, joined by existing backers 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures and Sequoia India, as well as new investor, Asian financial services group DBS.

According to the TechCrunch report, Naspers is pursuing a deal with Carousell with a view to making it the firm’s key play in Southeast Asia and other parts of the APAC region.

South Africa-based Naspers raised $9.8 billion in March after selling a slice of its Tencent shares, and plans to use the money to accelerate the growth and scale of its e-commerce businesses, which could potentially be listed.

Carousell app blends new and used items into 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.

The recently concluded Series C round of investment brings the company’s total funding to about $126.8 million, having previously raised $6 million and $600,000 for its Series A and seed funding respectively, followed by $35 million Series B in 2016.

The recent Series B funding was timely for Carousell given the large amount of money being injected into the regional e-commerce space. 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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