Carousell, an online classifieds marketplace specialising in pre-loved goods that started in Singapore in 2012, is in talks for being publicly listed.
In talks for merger with a special purpose acquisition company
According to Bloomberg which cited anonymous sources, Carousell is discussing a merger with Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) L Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp, which could see the combined entity valued at about US$1.5 billion (S$2 billion).
The SPAC is a fund platform based in Singapore and invests in "fast growing consumer businesses" across the region.
L Catterton itself is a private equity company that has about US$30 billion (S$40.7 billion) of assets under management, focused on "growing middle market companies and emerging high-growth enterprises," according to its website.
The SPAC is therefore expected to run due diligence on Carousell in the coming weeks to reach a merger agreement within this quarter.
The sources added that a merger could include private investment in public equity worth a few hundred million dollars. However, a deal is not yet a certainty.
Carousell previously achieved unicorn status in 2021
Earlier in Sep. 2021, Carousell achieved unicorn status after its valuation hit US$1.1 billion (S$1.5 billion).
A start-up gains unicorn status when its valuation hits US$1 billion or more.
According to Carousell, it had raised US$100 million (S$136 million) in a fresh round of funding led by Korean private equity firm STIC Investments.
At the time, Carousell CEO Quek Siu Rui, also co-founder of the company, said the funds would be used "to seek opportunistic acquisitions in scaling up" in "recommerce across more categories and markets".
Quek said: "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."
The funding round also saw STIC's managing director Jason Cho join Carousell's board of directors.
Cho said SITC was "highly confident" that Carousell will be at the centre of the secondhand economy in the region due to more "environmentally conscious consumers" shifting towards a "circular economy".
Carousell said in its press release: "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."
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Top image via Carousell Facebook