CLASSIFIEDS giant OLX Group has taken an approximate 10 per cent stake in Carousell in a deal worth US$56 million, the Singapore-based online marketplace said in a press release on Wednesday.
As part of the deal, Carousell will acquire OLX Philippines, which claims to be the largest online classifieds site in The Philippines, with over 6 million unique users monthly.
The deal will value Carousell at more than US$550 million and also make it the largest mobile classifieds marketplace in Southeast Asia, the start-up said.
OLX is owned by Naspers, the South Africa-headquartered internet company and technology investor known as an early backer of Tencent. Naspers was said to be in talks to invest in Carousell in June last year, according to a TechCrunch report.
Carousell expects to fully integrate with OLX's operations and subsidiaries in the Philippines in the second half of this year. Raffy Montemayor, general manager of OLX Philippines, will manage Carousell's operations there and the movement of customers to the new platform.
“Naspers’ investment will enable us to accelerate the cementing of our leadership in Southeast Asia and our pace of innovation. We will continue deepening our expertise in technology and AI to bring greater value, trust and convenience to our users,” said Quek Siu Rui, co-founder and CEO of Carousell, in the press release.
Martin Scheepbouwer, CEO of OLX, said that he is excited to raise his company's profile in Asia with Carousell. "We look forward to learning from them and sharing our own experience of operating in high-growth markets across five continents. Together, we believe we can offer the very best classifieds experience to the local market," he added.
Since inception, Carousell has had more than 196 million listings and 71 million items sold on its platform. It operates in seven markets, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.