Popular mobile classifieds app Carousell has just announced today that it has secured an additional US$35million in funding. This is reported to be one of the largest Series B rounds raised in the mobile classifieds space.
This was led by Rakuten Ventures, together with Sequoia India, Golden Gate Ventures and 500 Startups.
Shares Saemin Ahn, Managing Partner of Rakuten Ventures, “When Rakuten Ventures first invested in Carousell, it was a scrappy and hungry group of founders determined to change the way people transact with one another in the 21st century. We now see their vision and this want for interaction shared by vast groups of people not only in Singapore but also in countries like Indonesia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. We are grateful and humbled to have been on such an exciting journey with the team, and look forward to 2016 and beyond.”
The funds will be used to accelerate Carousell’s venture and growth into new markets around the world and bolster its product and engineering teams.
Launched in May 2012, the app originated in Singapore and is currently serving 13 major cities. It was also recently fully launched in Hong Kong, where it was well-received and clinched the #1 and #2 Shopping App spots on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store respectively. As of June 2016, the Hong Kong market had seen over 50% growth in transactions month on month since January 2016.
Said Quek Siu Rui, co-founder and CEO of Carousell, “[Carousell] is shaping the way people come together to buy and sell, and make each other’s lives more meaningful. We are reimagining the traditional classifieds industry by letting anyone with a smartphone snap, list, sell in 30 seconds.”
Being the first mobile classifieds app in the Asia-Pacific region, Carousell is also known in Singapore’s startup scene as one of the trailblazers. With more than 35 million listings on the platform as of June 2016 and more than 70 listings made per minute, the startup is only predicted to grow to even greater heights.
Regardless, Quek insists on the importance of focusing on the evolving needs of its consumers.
With its beginnings in simply dabbling with second-hand clothes, the listings have expanded to include luxury goods and even cars and motorbikes. Carousell Groups, a feature which works like Facebook groups to help users discover new listings they would be interested in, was also launched early this year to help deepen user engagement. Some examples of the groups include brand specific ones like “Apple Fans”, or location specific ones like “National University of Singapore”.
“We will remain focused on nurturing a vibrant Carousell community, and use the latest technology to offer them an intuitive user experience. Some of the areas we’ve been improving include discoverability so that it’s easier for users to find just what they need, community features like Carousell Groups to bring our users closer together, and under the hood improvements for a more enjoyable experience.”
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