Carousell enters Australia with office, own team

01 Dec 2016

Carousell, the mobile stuff app born in Singapore, officially launched in the tough Australian market by opening an office in Melbourne and appointing a small team.

The company has been active in Australia for a while (look at Au.carousell.com), together with Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines (since October), the U.S., Indonesia, and Taiwan. There are only two staff members in the Melbourne office at this point, but it will double in the near future.

Carousell is backed by leading international venture capitalists Sequoia India, Rakuten Ventures, 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures, and QuestVC.

In Australia, Carousell competes with Gumtree Australia, the top stuff app.

Gumtree is also No. 2 on SimilarWeb’s popularity ranking for free, Android apps in Australia in the shopping category behind EBay. The ranking takes downloads and active use into consideration. On this ranking of the top 100 most popular Android apps, Carousell occupies position No. 14.

It also competes with newly-launched Facebook Marketplace, which is available in Australia.

Before the arrival of Facebook Marketplace, Carousell enjoyed good organic growth in Australia, and surpassed one million listings at the end of September (source: company).

Siu Rui Quek, co-founder of Carousell in 2012, said in an interview (here) the app “has been averaging 20 percent growth month-on-month in Australia” and globally (it’s in seven countries), it has surpassed 41 million listings.

Quek said the company was establishing a physical presence, as well as a digital one, in Australia in order to deliver a “hyperlocal” product.

“For Australia, we have dedicated product and marketing staff … on the ground in Melbourne,” he said. “But we want to scale the team up, especially with the growth we’re seeing in the community, and we’re hoping to double it by early next year.”

Carousell officially entered the Philippine market in October, after testing the waters for a while. The company recently bought auto vertical Caarly.com, a mobile and desktop site focused on Singapore, and “Watch Over Me”, a personal safety app.

The company concentrates on beefing up its artificial intelligence, and capabilities of the technology teams on a continual basis, and aims to grow into other verticals on top of automotives in the medium term.

Carousell has a range of products in 29 categories, including cars, lifestyle gadgets, and fashion accessories. Their founders have often talked of the ease of selling, and plan to extend the reach of this simple method.

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Marian Jacob

Marian Jacob is covering South East Asia. Marian worked in marketing and corporate communications for over a decade, covering both internal and external communications. She began her career in professional services, leading up to communications business partnering in various multi-national organizations with progressive cultures. Marian has worked on both global and regional roles within communications. She also provides counsel to companies on strategic communications and marketing opportunities. She was an editor on the Singapore Audit Committee Guidance Committee Handbook for companies.