Carousell raises US$56 million at valuation of US$550 million
Carousell, the Singaporean P2P e-commerce site, has raised US$56 million from OLX Group, the company announced today. The investment values the company at over US$550 million.
OLX Group is owned by Naspers, one of the world’s leading technology investment firms whose big win is being one of the first investors into a young Tencent.
Furthermore, as part of the deal, Carousell has acquired the the Philippines operations of OLX Group and will integrate it into the Carousell brand over the next six months.
If we add up the investment numbers on e27 data, the new investment brings Carousell’s total funding to date to around US$170 million. Its most recent round was a US$85 million in May 2018 after a US$35 million deal in August 2016.
The investment makes OLX Group the third largest stakeholder in Carousell — now owns about 10 per cent of the company. Rakuten (who just invested in Shopback) owns 29.6 per cent of the company and Sequoia India owns 15.1 percent.
Carousell and Naspers have been dancing with each other for awhile now, with TechCrunch reporting plans of investment about 10 months ago. According to that article, the investment in Carousell is the core strategic move for Naspers in Southeast Asia. Naspers is based out of South Africa.
TechCrunch also reports that the deal was agreed upon awhile ago but was delayed because of Naspers’ IPO in Europe.
OLX Group is a bit of a throwback to the marketplace companies that first help build the startup ecosystem in this part of the world. The company is essentially a conglomerate of various marketplaces in emerging economies (it has operations in countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India). The company is headquartered in The Netherlands.
Assuming the DealStreetAsia report is true, an acquisition of the Philippines OLX operations is logical for Carousell. It would allow the company to scale quickly without having to search for unfamiliar properties in the country.
From an investment perspective, OLX is a natural fit for Carousell as it gives the Singapore startup a partnership with the world’s largest classified’s business.
Carousell operates in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.