S’pore Startup Carousell Raises US80M Funding Led By Naver

South Korean tech giant Naver just led a US $ 80 million (S $ 108 million) investment round in Carousell, the online marketplace start-up announced in a press release earlier today (September 15).

Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund and NH Investment & Securities are the other two investors included in the consortium.

The latest round of funding brings Carousell’s total valuation to US $ 900 million (S $ 1.22 billion), following acquisitions in 2019 to accelerate growth in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

“Naver’s investment in Carousell is a vote of confidence,” said Quek Siu Rui, co-founder and CEO of Carousell.

One of APAC’s fastest growing markets

Launched in 2012, Carousell is now one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the world in eight Southeast Asian countries, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Currently, Carousell is supported by Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Naver,
Sequoia Capital and Naspers. The startup made headlines last year when it merged with 701search, a classifieds company owned by Telenor.

Carousell’s net loss reportedly rose 60 percent to over US $ 40 million ($ 54.4 million) due to rising operating costs as its revenue doubled to 15.7 million dollars ($ 21.4 million).

What does Naver’s investment mean for Carousell?

Naver’s investments in Carousell can help the online marketplace fuel its revenue streams and recoup losses from its expansion in 2019.

Naver, owner of Line, South Korea’s largest search portal, has gradually pivoted to Singapore to escape the US-Chinese rivalry in Hong Kong.

In July this year, Naver announced it would move its data center from Hong Kong to Singapore, following the withdrawal of other tech giants from the ailing city-state amid the implementation of new security laws.

Featured Image Credit: The Korea Herald / Tech Crunch

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