South Korea’s tech giant Naver Corp. led consortium made a recent investment of $80 million in Singapore based- Carousell helping the company’s valuation reach $900 million, allowing it to become a unicorn startup. The other investors include Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund and NH Investment & Securities.
The buyer-seller platform
Carousell is a B2C and C2C consumer marketplace for buying and selling new and used goods in Singapore. Launched in August 2012, Carousell started operations in Singapore and now has eight other markets in Asia. The company has over 250 million listings across Southeast Asia, including Taiwan and Hong Kong. The Carousell marketplace caters to a diverse range of products buy-sell under various categories like furniture, cars, mobiles & electronics, lifestyle goods, gadgets, and fashion accessories.
Since its launch, Carousell has raised over $260 million through several funding rounds. In April 2019, it raised $56 million from OLX Group. Other investors of Carousell include Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Sequoia India, and Naspers.
Businesses & partnerships
In 2019, Carousell made a series of acquisitions in Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, including 701Search, the Norwegian telco Telenor Group’s classifieds firm, and OLX Philippines. The company owns and operates other businesses in Southeast Asia like the Cho Tot in Vietnam, Mudah in Malaysia, OneKyat in Myanmar, and Revo Financial in Singapore.
“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, in a media statement.
Carousell launched several initiatives in 2020 to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Carousell provided $ 2 million worth free ads to non-profit organizations and launched a ‘free-items’ category under the #ChoosetoGive campaign, enabling users’ donations. The firm has also forged partnerships with government agencies like Enterprise Singapore, Hong Kong Productivity Council, and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation to support the digitisation of small businesses.
About Naver Corp.
NAVER Corporation is a global tech company based in South Korea with its largest web search engine, ‘Naver.’ It also is a global ICT brand that provides services, including LINE messenger. Currently, Naver has over 200 million users worldwide, including its SNOW video app and the digital comics platform NAVER WEBTOON. In 2018, NAVER was ranked as the 9th most innovative company by Forbes and top 6th Future 50 company by Fortune magazine.