Quek Siu Rui on IPO plans

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SINGAPORE – Southeast Asian online marketplace Carousell will explore all options for expanding the business, which includes a likely IPO, co-founder and CEO Quek Siu Rui told CNBC on Monday.

Last week, Carousell said it raised $ 100 million in fresh funds that valued the company at over $ 1 billion, making it a so-called “unicorn.” The new capital will be used to expand into more second-hand property categories as well as markets, and make strategic acquisitions to grow, the company said.

An initial public offering could also be considered. Media reports this year said the start-up was considering a possible IPO in the United States via a merger with a blank check company, or a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). But Quek gave no details on Monday.

Carousell co-founders Siu Rui Quek, Marcus Tan and Lucas Ngoo.

Source: Carrousell

“In terms of listing in the US, in terms of IPO, with this round of funding we’re actually in a very well capitalized position for what we need to do, and that’s really thanks to the big support we got from our investors, ”Quek said on CNBC’s“ Squawk Box Asia ”.

He explained that a potential IPO could be a way to scale the business alongside other options, including raising private capital from investors and strategic partners. “We will be evaluating all options in our company scale process,” he said.

“Ultimately, we want to make sure we have a good investor base who will support our long-term growth history, who appreciate our business model and the direction in which we are moving,” Quek added.

Carousell hired former Razer executive Edwin Chan as CFO this year. Chan oversaw the public listing of the gaming hardware company in Hong Kong in 2017.

A number of prominent start-ups in Southeast Asia have either announced plans for an IPO or are already listed on the stock exchange. These include Southeast Asian transit giant Grab, which has announced plans for an IPO by merging with a blank check company, as well as Indonesian e-commerce company Bukalapak which debuted on the market last month.

On Friday, the Singapore government announced a series of initiatives to encourage high-growth companies in the region to list on the Singapore Stock Exchange. This includes a new fund designed to help companies raise capital through public listings, which could potentially be a game-changer for the Singapore stock market.

High-growth start-ups in the region have traditionally chosen to register in the United States because of relatively easier access to capital and a larger investor base. Some investors say local markets do not yet have the capacity to handle mega IPOs, such as the one announced by Grab which would value the company at nearly $ 40 billion.


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