Singapore-headquartered classifieds platform Carousell Group announced on Wednesday that it has secured an investment of $100 million in a funding round led by Korean private equity firm STIC Investments.

This also marks a significant milestone that will bring Carousell’s valuation to $1.1 billion. The investment will power the group’s ambitions to redefine commerce for secondhand goods and automobiles in an increasingly digitally savvy, affluent, and sustainability-conscious region, Carousell said in a statement.

Southeast Asia has seen more unicorns this year as tech startups in the region, benefiting from more online transactions and digitalization as consumers are home-bound due to travel restrictions and lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Indonesian FinTech startup Xendit announced on Tuesday it has become a unicorn after a $150 million Series C. Other startups which joined the unicorn club include Singapore-based FinTech firm Nium, Singapore-headquartered used car platform Carro, among others. Malaysia also welcomed its first tech unicorn Carsome, a used car platform.

“The pandemic has shown us that our mission to inspire the world to start selling and buying secondhand is more relevant than ever. People in the community are using our platforms to make more possible for each other–through shared passions, making ends meet, affording what they need, or simply because it is more sustainable,” Carousell Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Quek Siu Rui said.

“We believe that the accelerated adoption of digital experiences is an opportunity for us to double down on our ‘re-commerce’ efforts with a focus on convenience and trust, to unlock step-change growth in our community. STIC’s investment is a validation of our mission and strategic direction. We’ll deepen our investments in re-commerce across more categories and markets, and will continue to seek opportunistic acquisitions in scaling up,” he added.

The latest funding round also came after Carousell raised $80 million in an investment round led by South Korean tech giant Naver in September last year. Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund and NH Investment & Securities were the two other investors. The funding round then has brought Carousell’s total valuation to $900 million.

Since its founding in 2012, Carousell said it serves a community of tens of millions of users across eight markets in Greater Southeast Asia under the brands Carousell,, Cho Tot and OneKyat. Carousell’s pioneering mobile-first approach reignited the classifieds space, making selling and buying easier and proving to be an essential one-stop-shop across all categories.

“Carousell continues to achieve tremendous user growth as they transform the re-commerce market, adding new features that are focused on creating trusted marketplaces and enhancing overall user experience. We are highly confident that Carousell will be at the center of the secondhand economy in this region at a time when an increasing number of socio-economic and environmentally conscious consumers are shifting towards a circular economy,” said SITC Investments Managing Director Jason Cho.

As part of the funding round, Cho will join the Carousell Board of Directors.

“We have grown way beyond categories like fashion, electronics, and general goods,” said Quek, “As the region becomes more affluent, people want to enjoy the finer things in life. We are looking at authentication capabilities for higher-value products, including luxury goods and cars. Our goal is to make transacting in a secondhand marketplace as convenient and trusted as any e-commerce platform so that secondhand can truly be the first choice.“

This year alone, Carousell said it has piloted a Certified Mobiles program in Singapore, offering a 12-month warranty for used mobile phones to offer users a like-new experience at secondhand prices, and launched integrated shipping with Malaysia national postal service PosLaju to provide contactless transaction options for sellers and buyers during the Movement Control Order.

Carousell Auto Group, the car classifieds unit of the group, has rolled out a Certified Autos program in Malaysia that achieved the largest inventory of certified cars in the country, with other key markets to follow, the company said.

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