Carousell – Peer to Peer Selling App in Singapore and Hong Kong

Carousell is Singapore’s most successful and the fastest growing peer to peer Mobile based e-commerce Company. The Company was entirely founded and developed by a group of three undergraduate students of national university of Singapore. Carousell works in three basic steps which involve taking a photo, listing it alongside purchases then posting it instantly to the Carousell outreach Community so as to sell or buy what you want. Potential buyers can then begin a conversation with a seller and once they are in agreement, they can meet, make payment and perform the rest of the transactions outside the app.



Carousell was founded by Quek Siu Rui and his fellow classmates, Lucas Ngoo and Marcus Tan. They all studied at the National University of Singapore through the overseas college program. Their innovativeness and technological knowhow enabled them to form and manage Carousell. Quek Siu Rui manages products & community at Carousell company. He is a business administration graduate whose entrepreneurial and marketing skills ensure growth and sustainability thereby making a huge impact on the company.


Lucas Ngoo is the head of the engineering sector at Carousell. He studied Computer Engineering and Entrepreneurship and worked as mobile & web engineer at TixxMe (StartX EIR) and RedBeacon before Carousell. His vast knowledge in various web engineering domains including UX, API layer and iOS development provide the company with much needed app expertise. Marcus Tan is the company’s Design & Community leader. He also studied business administration and entrepreneurship at the National University of Singapore. He previously worked with oracle and was also the product manager at Wikinvest. His numerous marketing skills and passion for design are of great value to the company.

Company history

Caurosell Company was founded on May, 2012, by three undergraduate students; Quek Siu Rui, founders Lucas Ngoo and Marcus Tan from the National University of Singapore. They had a sparkling idea to develop the carousell app which became a major success. They were beneficiaries of $7000 Action Community Entrepreneurship startup grants which provided them with the much needed startup capital to enable product development, hiring staff, and paying for server hosting and web services.


With time, Carousell become a full-fledged online marketplace that eventually earned the number one lifestyle application in Singapore. The company also operates in Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia. In the first six months of operation, the company experienced a slow start with just 400 active users. However, today it has grown exponentially, with many more staff and users. The company hopes to continue growing and covering even more regions internationally. When Carousell first started, only users with iOS devices could access the app. This meant no android users could use the app and as a result the addressable marketplace was not completely covered. However, in January 2013, the company launched their Android app. This resulted to an all rounded peer to peer mobile marketplace that could be used by all smartphone users.



Carousell mobile app received series A round worth $ 6 million led by popular venture funding firm, Sequoia capital. The company also received $800,000 seed investment led by Japanese e-commerce Ventures Rakuten, 500 start ups Golden Gate Ventures and serial entrepreneur Darius Cheung. The company Has also worked to raise $50 million Series B funds in order to cover more regions in Asia.  The funding was used to cover more areas including Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia. It was also used for product development and improving the app features such as chats and payment integration. Since it was formed, Carousell Company has hosted numerous listings of all types in the marketplace ranging from furniture to fashion, beauty products, baby items and much more; the peer-to-peer marketplace has listed eight million new and second-hand products in categories like fashion, beauty, furniture, with so many active users buying and selling items using the app.


Carousell has numerous advantages to users since it helps break the barriers associated with physical location by providing buyers and sellers the choice to advertise their items such as clothes and other accessories online with prices much less than market prices. Unlike many other apps, Carousell uniquely connects its buyers and sellers and has no shipping charges or long delivery periods since everything is done locally.



The company’s listings are always country-specific. Users can only view listings from the countries or locations they are in. it also gives users the options to change location settings depending on where they’re located. Currently, Carousell operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia, United States and Australia.



Singapore Press Holdings’ ST Classifieds became an official partner to Carousell in January, 2013.The Company also announced its collaboration with Singapore Press Holdings magazines and was to develop SheShops market for beauty items and fashion. Carousell’s partnership with Singapore Press Holdings allows users to do listings of items they wish to buy or sell using their smartphone devices. The partnership also allows the public to visit a web version of SheShops Marketplace, and browse over 200,000 listings, directly via Singapore Press Holding’s online properties.


All Items posted on Carousell are made available on SheShops and those on she shops are made available on Carousell platform. The company co-founder, Quek Siu Rui, however, confirmed that this partnership, or any other the company makes, is not the main revenue source. Instead, the company has commenced investment plans to buy other companies such as sgCarMart for USD 48M, acquiring restaurants, for instance, Chope, and developing its online products.


Most competitor companies have also invested in this particular areas, especially online retail. MediaCorp is one such company which has ventured into e-commerce and online trade. The Carousell Company has also teamed up with Blu Inc. Media and enabled listing of about 1.6 million listings of beauty and fashion Malaysian magazine sales to readers. These digital magazines include; Cleo, Female, EH and Glam. Users will thus be able to access these magazines and buy them in the process.



Carousell is a popular mobile application in Singapore and other regions such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan. One of its main rivals in this South East Asian markets is Letgo. Since marketshare is the name of the game for such applications, Carousell is doing all it can to offer more options to more users across their networks and partnerships. This has left companies like Letgo trailing behind in the competitive market despite their similar user interfaces.


Another major competitor is Trezo which was launched by Singapore Press Holding. This app has had more than 10000 downloads on Google play stores more than 5,000 listings. However, Carousell is still leading the market with thousands of active sellers and buyers using the app every day. Carousell management noted that the average seller or buyer uses the app 10 times a day, and stays online for around 30 minutes daily. This is a tremendous achievement for the company and reflects in the numerous listings they have attained.


Tompang is another competing mobile application that not only allows users to buy and sell goods, but allows more interaction. Duriana is yet another competing mobile application launched in 2014, with more than 110,000 listings on its platform. And recently, Garena rolled out its own version, Shopee.


Despite the intense competition, for now, there is no doubt that Carousell is the market leader and remains number one in the Google play and the apple app store ranking.


A Safe Community

Carousell Company values users comfort and safety while buying and selling using the app. it ensures that commitment is made to laws and regulations under applicable privacy laws, regulations and governing standards. For instance, the company will not sell or disclose any user’s name or other information to unauthorized persons. The company gives users control of information such as editing, providing and deleting information and contact options. Carousell is both a marketplace and a community that ensures a member collect and receive information, have choice and control, and get feedback from the company team through emails. Information sharing and disclosure, security and data retention, requesting access to personal data cookies and tracking technologies, are all measures the company takes to ensure safety is guaranteed to all users and helps keep off scammers, spammers and all other forms of cybercrimes.