Online businesses are always being acquired up or prime for merging, the nature of the digital economy business is such. Investors who plow into these company look for scale, and what better way to grow than to gobble up similar online businesses. This is the case for Carousell the online classified market place platform that has grown to an infliction point that the next course of growth is via mergers or acquisitions.
The company has just announced a merger agreement with Mudah.com, Malaysia’s pioneer classified platform that for the longest period of time was the go to for many of us who just enjoyed browsing the site for quirky stuff. Under the ownership of Telenor (yes, the Norwegian telco owns the site now) together with 701search, Cho Tot in Vietnam and OneKyat in Myanmar has now been all merged with Carousell.
Following this exercise, Singapore based Carousell will become an entity valued at more than US$850 million with Telenor Group becoming its largest minority shareholder in Carousell, owning 32 percent of the combined company.
With annualised revenue of US$ 40 million, the company has been on an expansion mode as it concluded another merger earlier this year in Philipines with OLX. Maintaining the regional hub in Singapore, Carousell will continue to retain all the sites individual names and platforms, and will continuing operations in Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar respectively. “Our mission has remained the same since day one. We want to inspire every person in the world to start selling and buying,” shared Quek Siu Rui, Co-founder and CEO of Carousell. The aim for the company is to become a solid regional player with a strong footprint in Southeast Asia.
Telenor has viewed the region as its growth sector having failed in a merger move with Axiata, the telco is finding other means to have deeper access into these markets.