Online marketplace merges with 701Search, and its companies Mudah, Cho Tot and OneKyat, expanding its presence to eight markets
Malaysia, 21 November 2019 – Carousell, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing classifieds, today announced it has signed an agreement with Telenor Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. As part of this equity and cash agreement, Carousell will merge with 701Search, which owns online marketplaces Mudah in Malaysia, Cho Tot in Vietnam, and OneKyat in Myanmar.
Following the merger, Carousell will be valued at more than US$850 million with Telenor Group becoming the largest minority shareholder in Carousell, owning 32 percent of the combined company.
“This has been a significant year for Carousell, with the company achieving unprecedented results in market expansion and revenue growth,” said Rakesh Malani, Chief Financial Officer, Carousell. “We are driving rapid consolidation in the region with the OLX Philippines merger earlier in the year, and 701Search today. This transaction further cements Carousell as the leading online classifieds marketplace platform in Southeast Asia. With annualized revenues of over US$ 40 million, a business of over 80 percent gross margin and two profitable markets, we are very well positioned to advance our combined business to the next level.”
Following the merger, 701Search’s regional hub team that operates in Singapore will be fully integrated into Carousell, while Mudah, Cho Tot and OneKyat will retain their individual names and platforms, continuing operations in Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar respectively. The businesses will report into Carousell Chief Executive Officer Quek Siu Rui.
“Our mission has remained the same since day one. We want to inspire every person in the world to start selling and buying,” shared Quek Siu Rui, Co-founder and CEO of Carousell. “Merging with 701Search will allow us to further this mission on an even greater scale and fortify our leadership in Southeast Asia as Mudah, Cho Tot and OneKyat are already leaders in their markets. I am excited to work with our new teammates to learn about the dynamics of these local markets, create win-win opportunities that are mutually beneficial for our community of users, and inspire even more people to start selling and buying.”
Johan Rostoft, Head of Online Classifieds at Telenor Group, said “We have built a profitable and high-growth marketplace business serving millions of users every single day. This transaction presents an attractive opportunity for us to take the next step in our marketplace journey, and it also simplifies Telenor’s portfolio. We believe that Carousell is the best partner for our online classifieds business in Southeast Asia.”
Carousell’s advanced and intuitive technology, coupled with the Telenor Group companies’ hyperlocal reach and extensive experience, will further propel Carousell’s Classifieds 4.0 vision of reimagining classifieds and making the selling and buying of second-hand a first choice.
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Carousell is a classifieds marketplace that makes selling as easy as taking a photo, buying as simple as chatting. Launched in August 2012, Carousell now has a presence in eight markets across Asia. With over 250 million listings, it is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing marketplaces in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and is backed by Telenor, Rakuten Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Naspers, 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures, DBS and EDBI. In Malaysia, the Carousell marketplace has a diverse range of products in 34 categories, including fashion & beauty, lifestyle gadgets and muslimah fashion. Download the app for iOS or Android, and visit www.carousell.com for more information.
Telenor Group is a leading telecommunications company across Scandinavia and Asia with 176 million customers and annual sales of around USD 13 billion (2018). We hold #1 or #2 positions in most of our markets. We are committed to responsible business conduct and driven by the ambition of empowering societies. Connectivity has been Telenor’s domain for more than 160 years, and our purpose is to connect our customers to what matters most. Telenor is listed at Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker TEL. For more information, see www.telenor.com.