Korean startup Danggeun Market Inc.’s Karrot Market app has attracted $162 million of Series D investment, taking the valuation of the enterprise to $2.7 billion. This investment round was led by DST Global, with new investors such as Spex Management and Leverant Partners, and existing investors Goodwater Capital, Softbank Ventures Asia, Altos Ventures, Kakao Ventures, Strong Ventures, and Capstone Partners participating. The startup had received $33 million in a series C funding round in June 2020.
Startup to hire and expand business locally & overseas
Dangguen Market’s Karrot app is Korean version of ‘Nextdoor’ that allows users to trade secondhand goods, fresh produce, essential services, etc.
Karrot Market has seen exponential growth in the last three years and had high transactions in 2020. Its monthly users, which was 500,000 in January 2018, exceeded 1.8 million the following year and exceeded 4.8 million in 2020 and 14.2 million in 2021.
With this new investment, Karrot Market focuses on technology advancement, hiring manpower for business expansion, expanding overseas market entry, and strengthening domestic and overseas marketing. The startup also plans to introduce a payment service
Karrot Pay, in later this year.
The company plans to focus on revitalizing local businesses through on-offline links that connect users with local commercial areas such as agricultural produce, fishery products and fresh food. In addition, it plans to expand the O2O area in various ways with specialized companies such as cleaning, companion animals, education, and convenience stores, and to upgrade existing local services such as real estate, used cars, and jobs.
“We are also accelerating our efforts to penetrate overseas markets. Karrot Market plans to continue expanding the service area and scope of the global version,” said a Karrot representative in a media statement. Karrot is currently operating in 72 regions in 4 countries, UK, the US, Canada and Japan.
DST Global’s partner John Lindfors, who participated as a lead investor, said, “Over the past several years, Karrot market has shown an overwhelming dominance in the Korean mobile C2C market, and I was deeply impressed by the influence and rapid growth rate that it created a new market. The excellent service model and user behavior based on the local community show the potential of Karrot Market as a local super app. We are looking forward to being able to grow together by supporting the carrot market team.”
Kim Yong-hyeon, co-CEO of Carrot Market, said, “Local business is a field that is growing rapidly even in overseas markets. We will continue to realize greater value based on business scalability that does not set limits and accelerate innovation as a local super app.”
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