By Ben Otto
Singapore-based peer-to-peer shopping app Carousell has secured US$80 million in new investment from a consortium led by internet giant Naver Corp., taking the fast-growing company closer to a billion-dollar valuation.
The investment by South Korea's largest web search engine "is a vote of confidence and reinforces the relevance of our mission," Quek Siu Rui, Carousell's co-founder and chief executive, said in a statement Tuesday.
Carousell, which runs a fast-growing classified-ads marketplace in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, said the injection of fresh funds would boost its valuation to more than US$900 million. Launched in 2012, the company also has backing from Norway's Telenor ASA, the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and South African tech giant Naspers Ltd.
Jung An Lee, head of investments at Naver, said the company believed Carousell was poised to further consolidate a market leadership position.
The startup last year made acquisitions to boost its presence in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund and NH Investment & Securities are the other investors in the consortium, Carousell said. Credit Suisse advised on the transaction.
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