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Carousell raises $35m for expansion

Singapore-based online marketplace Carousell has raised US$35 million in a funding round led by Rakuten Ventures

Other investors in the Series B funding round included Golden Gate Ventures, Sequoia India and 500 Startups.

Founded in 2012, the Carousell app lets people buy and sell a variety of items including beauty products, fashion, lifestyle gadgets, furniture and home appliances. Sellers upload photos of items they wish to sell while buyers use the chat function to buy.

Carousell will use the new funds to speed its growth into new markets, strengthen its product and engineering capabilities and build a “world-class” team, says co-founder/CEO Quek Siu Rui. The company has just hired former AirBNB Southeast Asia MD Chai Jia Jih to oversee its international expansion.

So far Carousell has raised about $41.8 million, and is available in 13 major Asian cities including Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taipei and, most recently, Hong Kong.

Its marketplace had more than 35 million listings globally as of the second quarter this year, with Quek claiming it has gathers 70 listings a minute.

To stand out from its competition, Carousell puts emphasis on speed. Quek says it takes as little as 30 seconds to post a listing on the marketplace, and users can communicate within the app, eliminating the need for messaging apps or emails.

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