Carousell recently merged with 701Search, a classifieds firm owned by telecomm giant Telenor, that owns general classifieds sites in Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar.
The deal will value Carousell at US$850 million (S$1.15 billion) with Telenor being the largest minority shareholder at 32 per cent.
Co-founder and CEO of Carousell, Quek Siu Rui, welcomed the move, calling it a chance to create more “opportunities that are mutually beneficial for our community of users, and inspire even more people to start selling and buying”.
So how did an app where people basically test the limits of human goodness get to a billion dollars?
Lowballed from the start
Carousell was started by three friends from NUS, Quek Siu Rui, Marcus Tan and Lucas Ngoo.
One of their first brushes with funding came in the form of a S$10,000 NUS grant.
According to an interview with Huffpost, the professor dismissed their idea as having been done before.
Undaunted, they did a more succinct sales pitch, and convinced the professor to grant them a S$7,000 grant, a sum that proved essential in kickstarting Carousell.
Like any startup, they faced the very real problem of developing