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Mobile listings startup Carousell raises $85M in series C round

Carousell, the Singapore-based mobile listing service that operates across Southeast Asia, has pulled in an $85 million Series C fund as it seeks to strengthen its business among the region’s competitive e-commerce landscape before expanding globally.

The round was co-led by existing investor Rakuten Ventures and EDBI, the corporate investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board. Other participants included returning investors 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures and Sequoia India as well as new investor DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest bank with over $330 billion in assets.

This new round means that six-year-old Carousell has now raised over $110 million, according to Crunchbase. It closed a $35 million Series B in October 2016.

“It’s been six years since I made my partners very angry when I decided to do a startup, so it’s great to again get the validation of our investors,” co-founder and CEO Siu Rui Quek joked in an interview with TechCrunch. “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.”

Carousell’s core business is a consumer-to-consumer sales which, like a listings site, lets people sell unwanted items to each other. To date, the platform has helped sell over 50 million items and today it has 144 million listings. In recent years, it has fanned out to offer more verticals that include cars, property, jobs, services and finance.

The primary C2C portion of the business remains free, but the company has begun to monetize over the past several quarters, Quek explained.

Its revenue streams include advertising and partnerships — such as financial services and travel insurance — promoted listing and ‘spotlight’ ads for sellers, cost per click ads, and certain premium verticals, including automotive, real estate and more.

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