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

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

The latest funding round 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,” says Quek Siu Rui, co-founder and CEO of Carousell.

One Of The Fastest-Growing Marketplaces In APAC

Launched in 2012, Carousell is now one of the world’s largest and fastest marketplaces in eight countries across Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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

Carousell’s net loss reportedly swelled by 60 per cent to over US$40 million (S$54.4 million) due to rising operating costs, as its revenue doubled to US$15.7 million (S$21.4 million).

What Does Naver’s Investment Mean For Carousell?

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

Naver, who owns Line, South Korea’s largest search portal has been gradually pivoting towards Singapore to escape the US-China rivalry in Hong Kong.

In July this year, Naver announced that it will be shifting its data centre from Hong Kong to Singapore, following other tech giants retracting from the troubled city-state amidst the implementation of new security laws.

Featured Image Credit: The Korea Herald / Tech Crunch

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