(April 7): Carousell, a Southeast Asian online marketplace that lets people buy and sell second-hand goods, said it plans to invest aggressively to grow its classified cars business in the region.
The Singapore-based startup, last valued at US$850 million, will bolster its classified auto business across Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore with OneShift – a portal that connects sellers with buyers and dealers – and Reno Financial, which offers loans and other financial services, the company said in a statement.
Carousell’s ambition underscores intensifying competition in the online second-hand car market in Southeast Asia, where middle class consumers are expected to swell in number to 334 million by 2030. Rivals Carsome, backed by investors including Asia Partners and Carro, whose backers include Insignia Ventures Partners, both claim to be the region’s largest automotive marketplace and are trying to expand rapidly.
“Covid has accelerated the trend of users buying and selling online, including for cars,” said Gaurav Bhasin, chief strategy officer of Carousell, who leads the firm’s automotive strategy. “We want to go one step further to power our autos brands with transactional models.”
Carousell said it’s the most-visited auto classifieds platform in the region, with one of the biggest inventories of auto-related listings. Its cars business is now Carousell’s largest vertical, contributing a third of the company’s revenue.