Singapore classifieds marketplace Carousell has raised US$85 million in series-C funding. In an interview to TechCrunch, Quek joked, "It's been six years since I made my parents very angry when I chose to do a startup, so it's great to again get the validation of our investors.Six years ago it was mobile, now we're going into an AI-first world [with other challenges such as] how do we make payments a lot more frictionless".
According to founder and CEO Siu Rui Quek, the capital injection will accelerate its product innovation to reimagine classifieds marketplaces in an artificial intelligence-first world. He added that the proceeds from the round would be used to push product innovation, with a specific focus on talent acquisition and deep technology R&D.
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"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".
In the two years following its last round of funding, Carousell has celebrated a series of accomplishments across its seven markets.
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The consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace now operates in 19 cities across seven Asian markets, offering more than 144 million listings that have grown to include cars, jobs, financial services, and property. It began adopting AI technology past year with the introduction of features such as smart listings and personalised browsing. The company recently expanded its offering to diversity into more high-value verticals like cars, property, job services, and finance. The latest round of funding will also be used to deepen the company's presence in key markets and pave the way for the launch of more categories across the region.
In conjunction with the investment, DBS and Carousell will form a collaboration to offer financial products and payment services on Carousell's platforms. We're stepping up our participation in ecosystems, improving the customer journey and using data to inform our offerings. "As a strategic partner to Carousell, we can leverage on Carousell's platforms to connect to its community both inside and outside of Singapore, and strengthen our next-generation proposition jointly with Carousell". During his keynote on the main stage, he will provide further insight into the next phase of Carousell's growth, "Classifieds 4.0".
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