Carousell acquires Caarly, Gears Up for Automotive Growth
Kuala Lumpur (27 October 2016) — Carousell intensifies its efforts to become the world’s number 1 classifieds marketplace, with its acquisition of a Singapore startup, Caarly. This is a strategic move that strongly positions Carousell for leadership in the cars classifieds vertical.
One of the world’s largest and fastest growing mobile classifieds app, the acquisition reflects Carousell’s commitment to simplifying the online buying and selling experience for all users, by making it easier for car dealers and individual sellers with a smartphone to snap, list, sell in just 30 seconds.
“Carousell has grown over the last 4.5 years, and so have our users. Over 50% of them in Singapore are now over 25 years old, and have significantly more purchasing power. This is also the case in Malaysia, where the majority of our users are aged 25 years and above. We’ve seen how their evolving needs have resulted in more listings and greater demand in higher value verticals like cars. This acquisition allows us to tap on Caarly’s relationships with car dealers, to give users the widest selection of cars on a classifieds marketplace beginning in Singapore and throughout APAC soon after,” said Siu Rui Quek, Co-founder and CEO of Carousell.
“This acquisition makes Carousell the best place for users to find exactly what they need when they’re looking for a new or preloved car, and also paves the way for our monetization strategy as high value verticals will be a key revenue driver for us.”
Caarly is a mobile-first productivity tool that makes it easier for used car dealerships to manage their inventory. Since its launch in Singapore in 2014, Caarly is a trusted partner to more than 200 car dealers, which make up a significant proportion of the car dealerships in Singapore. As part of the acquisition, Carousell has welcomed the full Caarly team into the family and taken on all of its relevant automotive products.
By leveraging Caarly’s strong domain expertise in the automotive industry, Carousell intends to deepen its reach in this high value vertical, and scale up to become a market leader for cars classifieds globally. Existing Caarly partners in Singapore can continue to use the Caarly platform to list their inventory with a simple 1-tap post to cross post to the cars category on the Carousell marketplace. Malaysia with an estimated used car sale of 400,000 units in 20151 presents a potential market for Carousell to explore with Caarly in the mobile car classifieds space.
Winnie Khoo, newly appointed General Manager for Carousell Singapore and Malaysia, will be leading the charge to fully integrate the Caarly team into the Carousell platform. She said, “What began as a simple conversation to include used-car dealers inventory onto the Carousell marketplace allowed us to realise the potential to make a bigger impact for our community. With the widest selection of cars, Carousell will become the go-to for anyone looking to purchase their next car. Together with the Caarly team, we are now even better placed to grow the largest mobile classifieds platform in the world”.
Strengthening The Leadership Team For Aggressive Global Expansion
With over 19 years of experience in the e-commerce and property industry, Winnie has a track record of growing and launching businesses in new markets. She started her career in marketing for the likes of Alibaba.com and PropertyGuru before becoming the Managing Director of PropertyGuru.
Also joining the Carousell leadership team is CFO Rakesh Malani, formerly the CFO for ad-tech company Komli Media in India. Rakesh will execute an aggressive capital strategy to help Carousell cement its position as a global classifieds leader, by deepening its reach in high value verticals starting with cars. He’ll also play an integral role in developing the company’s growth and monetisation plans.
Rakesh began his finance career in the US where he received rigorous finance leadership training while he was at AT&T. A tech entrepreneur at heart, Rakesh has been a co-founder of a tech startup, and worked with several tech companies – one of which went public on NASDAQ and was subsequently acquired for $1.25 billion.
Rakesh shared his excitement at the new challenge, saying “Carousell provides me with an absolutely blank canvas from a finance perspective. While the company has grown exponentially the last 4.5 years and raised US$35M Series B earlier in the year, there’s so much potential to build the finance function in the business. It’s a fantastic time to be part of a team that’s set to become the world’s first native mobile classifieds to aggressively execute a vertical strategy via an acquisition. This appeals to the entrepreneur in me, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to work alongside top-notch colleagues and build a robust, global business”.
Just this September 2016, Carousell completed its first acquihire of safety app WatchOverMe. The Caarly acquisition that follows soon after is indicative of Carousell’s rapid expansionary vision, as it accelerates growth in new verticals and continues to expand overseas.