Singapore-based Carousell becomes Southeast Asia's latest unicorn

September 19, 2021 | 21:26
Carousell, the parent company of Vietnam's online classified site Cho Tot, has become Souhteast Asia's youngest billion-dollar startup after raising $100 million in a new funding round led by South Korean private equity firm STIC Investments.
Singapore-based Carousell becomes Southeast Asia's latest unicorn
After becoming Southeast Asia's latest unicorn, Carousell will continue to accelerate Cho Tot's expansion in Vietnam

Since its inception in 2012, Carousell has served tens of millions of users in eight regions in Greater Southeast Asia with the brands Carousell, Mudah.my, Cho Tot, and OneKyat. The investment will power Carousell's ambitions to redefine commerce for secondhand goods and automobiles in an increasingly digitally savvy, affluent, and sustainability-conscious region.

"The pandemic has shown us that our mission to inspire the world to start selling and buying secondhand is more relevant than ever. People in the community are using our platforms to make more possible for each other – through shared passions, making ends meet, affording what they need, or simply because it is more sustainable. We believe that the accelerated adoption of digital experiences is an opportunity for us to double down on our recommerce efforts with a focus on convenience and trust, to unlock step-change growth in our community," said Quek Siu Rui, co-founder and CEO of Carousell.

"We have grown way beyond categories like fashion, electronics and general goods," he said. "As the region becomes more affluent, people want to enjoy the finer things in life. We are looking at authentication capabilities for higher-value products, including luxury goods and cars. Our goal is to make transacting in a secondhand marketplace as convenient and trusted as any e-commerce platform so that secondhand can truly be the first choice."

Carousell will use the fresh fund to invest in expanding into new categories of pre-owned goods as well as new markets, as well as making strategic acquisitions. In addition, Carousell will continue to accelerate Cho Tot's expansion in the Vietnam market, focusing on cars (Cho Tot Xe) and goods, as well as investing substantially in real estate (Cho Tot Nha) and blue-collar jobs. Currently, Cho Tot is searching for more expertise in technology, business, and data science to join the team in order to quickly implement this approach.

By Thanh Van

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional