Tuesday, May 28

Carousell is well-capitalised and has seen “healthy” loss reduction

Carousell, the online classified operator is still well-funded by investors and getting an IPO is not the only way to raise money, its chief executive Quek Siu Rui said.

“We’re so well-capitalised now that it gives us the ability to stay focused on execution,

“When the time comes for us to think about capital raises, we will look at all options, IPOs being one of them. But there are also many other capital-raising options,” he said, noting that while the company has the backing of long-term investors, they are also open to other capital-raising alternatives as well.

Carousell has been considering going public, since the firm was previously reported to be in merger talks with the American-listed special purpose acquisition company L Catterton Asia Acquisition.

However, conversations are said to have halted due to macroeconomic uncertainty and valuation concerns.

Carousell is also unprofitable, which adds to the difficulty of going public amid low sentiment.

According to regulatory filings, its revenue increased 66.7 percent to $82.5 million in 2022. However, losses increased from US$41.9 million to US$63.1 million.

That said, Quek expects losses to narrow this year. “While we continue to grow our revenue very healthily, we’re also actually seeing a very healthy decline in our losses this year,” he said.

Last December, Carousell sacked 110 employees, or 10 percent of its staff, and Quek later admitted that he had been “too optimistic about the pace of our impact versus our increase in investments.”

Its most recent acquisitions include Refash, a second-hand apparel company, and Ox Street, a sneaker marketplace. Carousell also collaborated with Temasek subsidiary Heliconia to take over Laku6, a platform that uses AI to evaluate the condition of used mobile phones.

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