Homegrown classifieds marketplace Carousell has secured S$113 million ($85 million) in Series C funding, the company announced on Monday (May 14).
The latest funding round was co-led by Rakuten Ventures and EDBI, with participation from existing investors, 500 Startups, Golden gate Ventures and Sequoia India, as well new investor, DBS.
Carousell said it intends to use the capital injection to accelerate the company’s product innovation to “reimagine classifieds in an AI-first world” – particularly investment into talent and deep technology capabilities to “elevate the Carousell marketplace”.
It would also be used to strengthen the company’s presence in its key markets while setting the stage for the launch of sales categories on a region-wide level.
Mr Quek Siu Rui, Carousell’s co-founder and CEO, said: “In the past six years, we’ve gathered a lot more data, feedback and learnings about the problems and friction people face when buying and selling online. We are laser focused on solving these problems with technology and catering to local cultural norms and behaviours in Southeast Asia, while ultimately serving our core mission of inspiring everyone in the world to start selling.”
“The investment will enable us to continue building up our teams with top tier talent to accelerate our development of highly anticipated features, and more AI and machine learning capabilities,” he added.
According to Carousell, its AI vision was first conceived in 2017 with the launch of predictive features such as Smart Listings, personalised browsing and chatting experiences.
In conjunction with the investment, DBS and Carousell will form a collaboration to offer financial products and payment services on Carousell’s platforms.
“DBS has been leveraging digital technology and innovation to seamlessly integrate banking into the lives of customers. We’re stepping up our participation in ecosystems, improving the customer journey and using data to inform our offerings,” said DBS Group CEO, Piyush Gupta.
“The investment in Carousell further builds on that. As a strategic partner to Carousell, we can leverage on Carousell’s platforms to connect its community both inside and outside of Singapore, and strengthen our next-generation proposition jointly with Carousell.”