‘Snap to sell, chat to buy' - is the tagline of Singapore-based Carousell, a three-year-old peer to peer social marketplace which is looking to expand its business deep into the Asian markets with their latest acquisition.
The company raised $35 million in their second round of funding of August. With more money in its coffers, it has bought its rival in Malaysia, Duriana, its third acquisition since its fundraising.
Like many other startups who have managed to sell their idea, float a company, and attract eyeballs and subsequently first round of investments, a more mature Carousell wants to move to the next level and eat into the shares of person to person social marketplaces outside of Singapore. But to pick up pace despite organic growth slowing down, or to set a firm foot in a new market, most of these startups are looking at mergers and acquisitions to grow.
Duriana had raised over $3 million from investors till its acquisition, as reported by Crunchbase. The company had a user base of 60,000 users, mostly in Malaysia. Carousell has clarified that it has only bought the user base and not any other asset or staff from Duriana.
Bother Carousell and Duriana are tight-lipped on the cost of the transaction, but a source close to the negotiations has said that the price agreed upon is much lesser that the funding raised by Duraina.
Carousell said that the acquisition was strategic as the demographics of Duriana and its interests in transacting fashion items were similar. Carousell CEO Quek Siu Rui said that this widens their user base further. Currently, the company operates in seven Asian countries.
Carousell has previously applied a similar strategy to grow its business and user base across different verticals. Like it ‘acquihired’ (acquiring employees) several developers from the app company ‘Watch Over Me,' and wholly acquired an online classifieds startup for automobiles, Caarly, to give a push to its car buying and selling.
The idea of Carousell is one that has angel investors love and continue to believe in despite many aggressive competitors. Many social marketplace apps are posting big numbers of transactions and are continuously supported with large capitals, especially in Asia.
The hugely popular gaming app that floats in billions has taken a keen interest in the idea and is pumping a lot of money in their one-year-old project Shopee, putting a lot of pressure on its direct competitor Carousell.
Carousell was found in the year May 2012 and is a social marketplace for users to sell or buy anything. The interface lets a user research a product put up for sale or purchase by another user and initiate a conversation to agree on a final price for the transaction and set up a meet or discuss mailing options and mode of payment. It lets users find people and products within a defined radius or shared postal codes. The app is available for iOS and Android users in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines and Thailand among others. The company believes that there is an enormous potential in Asian markets for growth.