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Carousell reportedly exploring US listing via SPAC merger, which could value it at US$1.5B

Carousell IPO

Bloomberg reported today (June 28) that Singapore-based marketplace Carousell is considering a US listing via a merger with a blank-cheque company, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The startup is allegedly working with an adviser on the potential transaction that could value the company at as much as US$1.5 billion.

Discussions are preliminary and details of Carousell’s listing plans could change, said the people involved.

Last September, South Korean tech giant Naver led a US$80 million (S$108 million) investment round into Carousell. The funding round brought Carousell’s total valuation to US$900 million (S$1.22 billion).

Currently, Carousell is backed by Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Naver, Sequoia Capital, and Naspers. 

Launched in 2012, Carousell is an online marketplace for buying and selling new and secondhand goods.

The marketplace covers an impressive number of categories of goods and services from travel to luxury to educational programs, to food and even job posting.

It is now one of the world’s largest and fastest marketplaces in Southeast Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, it also operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Going public in US via SPAC mergers

Carousell follows in the footsteps of ride-hailing giant Grab, which also announced its plans to go public in the US via a SPAC merger in April.

It is set to go public through a SPAC merger with Altimeter Growth Corp. with a valuation of close to US$40 billion.

This will be the largest SPAC deal and also the largest US equity offering by a company from Southeast Asia.

A SPAC is a blank-cheque, shell company that is set up to raise capital in order to acquire private companies. SPACs have risen in popularity because they greatly reduce the time it takes for a company to get listed on the stock exchange. 

In 2020, 219 companies raised a total of US$73 billion — a 462 per cent year-over-year jump — outpacing traditional IPOs by US$6 billion.

Featured Image Credit: Tech In Asia

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