The Singaporean P2P marketplace Carousell has confirmed it raised a US$85 million Series C round. The deal had been previously reported in October of 2017.
The lead investors were Rakuten Ventures and EDBI. DBS, a leading bank in Singapore, also participated in the round. Previous investors 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures and Sequoia India were also involved.
The money will be used to support a growing emphasis on building artificial intelligence into the P2P platform. The company has been heavily focussed on its ‘smart selling’ features. Carousell hopes the technology will allow people to essentially point their phone at a given item and almost instantly bring up information like category and ideal selling price.
The AI product also include personalised browsing and a chat feature.
The investment from DBS is interesting because it will facilitate a strategic partnership to offer financial products and improved payment services. Piyush Gupta, the CEO of DBS, said the investment is about integrating banking into the day-to-day lives of customers.
“We are stepping up our participation in ecosystems, improving the customer journey and using data to inform our offerings. The investment in Carousell further builds on that. As a strategic partner to Carousell, we can leverage on Carousell’s platforms to connect to its community both inside and outside of Singapore, and strengthen our next-generation proposition jointly with Carousell,” he said.
The press release also provided updated statistics for Carousell which claims to have over 144 million listings that have resulted in the sale of 50 million items.
The funding will also be used to improve its marketshare in markets across the world while expanding its product offerings. In the last year, Carousell has added categories in automobiles, property, jobs, services and financing.
One of its competitors in the automobile category, Carro, announced today it has raised a US$60 million Series B.
Carousell was launched in 2012 and is considered a pioneer in the P2P e-commerce sector but in recent years has faced stiff competition from Sea Group’s Shopee.